By The Next Family
Conservative Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has voted against gay marriage in the past, has had a “change of heart” about the issue of marriage equality.
Why? Because his own son Will, age 21, is gay.
Portman tells CNN, “I am announcing today a change of heart….for me personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do…to get married, to have the joy and stability of marriage that I’ve had for over 26 years. I want all three of my kids to have it, including my son, who is gay.”
Portman’s name was tossed around frequently during the 2012 election, having been on the short list as one of Mitt Romney’s possible vice presidential candidates. The Senator says he told Romney “everything” during the vetting process, including that he had a gay son. He does not believe that this was a deal-breaker for Romney.
The Republican Senator was never completely outspoken on gay marriage, but he did consistently vote against it, by supporting not only DOMA and a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but also a bill prohibiting gay couples in DC from adopting children.
When asked why it took having a gay son, rather than simply caring about the rights of his own constituents, to change his mind, Portman answered frankly, “Well…I’ve had a change of heart based on a personal experience…the budget committee, finance committee…(those) have always been my primary focus…now it’s different…having spent a lot of time thinking about it….this is where I am for reasons that are consistent with my political philosophy including family values… families are a building block of society.”
Portman also feels that, because the Supreme Court is weighing its decisions on gay marriage, now is the best to time to make his newfound support of gay marriage clear.
The Senator describes the moment two years ago when his son came out to his wife and him and his reaction as “loving”, although admitting he had no idea his son was gay.
The CNN reporter who interviewed Portman said the Senator is usually “press savvy” but was nervous during the interview, and struck her simply as “a dad wanting to do right by his son.”
Bravo, Rob Portman. You might take a little criticism for not coming around until you had a personal reason to do so, but The Next Family applauds you for looking into your heart and doing the right thing. And it’s nice to see a conservative politician who finally understands the true meaning of “family values”.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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