Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a dude that was firmly opposed to gay marriage, has now reconsidered his stance after learning that his son is gay.
“It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective,” Portman told reporters, “and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years.”
Portman is the first Senate Republican to back gay marriage.
Senator Portman, an original backer of 1996’s Defense of Marriage Act, which barred gay marriage on a federal level, cites The Bible, especially “The Golden Rule” as inspiration for his change of heart, adding “I believe in some respects that this is more generational than it is partisan.”
Portman’s 21 year old son, Will, came out to his parents two years ago. Will had not pressured his father to announce his decision about gay marriage, but certainly encouraged it.
Coincidentally, there are 17 other Senators that had changed their tune about DOMA as well, including Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.
There has been some criticism that Portman waited two years to “come out” with his new feelings. We can’t know why it’s taken this long, though the suggestion in the Cleveland piece linked below is that it has literally taken two years for Portman to cope and come to the conclusion. Also according to that piece, “he said his decision to announce his new stance was not motivated by its potential political impact, and he was not sure what the fallout would be.”