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Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) Now Supports Marriage Equality – After His Gay Son Comes Out to Him

It’s kind of sad that there’s no empathy or common sense for the support of the civil right of gays and lesbians to marry until the issue smacks you in the face when a loved one comes out to you. But I’ll take the reality check — the act of coming out, as I’ve said many times before, is the most powerful bit of activism one can do. And Will Portman did just that — he came out to his dad, Senator Rob Portman, who has been on the record supporting both the Defense of Marriage Act and the Federal Marriage Amendment during his career.

And the father saw the light. Chris Geidner @ Buzzfeed:

“I’m announcing today a change of heart,” Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday in announcing his support for the right of same-sex couples to marry — a change he said came about after his son came out to him. In a video released by CNN, Portman described the process that led to Thursday’s announcement.

“During my career in the House and also the last couple of years here in the Senate, I’ve taken a position against gay marriage, rooted in part in my faith and my faith tradition,” he said. “I had a very personal experience, which is that my son came to Jane, my wife, and I and said he was gay and that it was not a choice, and that’s just part of who he is and he’d been that way for as long as he could remember.”

After Will, who is now 21, came to him, Portman said he went through “a process of changing my position on the issue,” concluding, “I now believe that [gay] people ought to have the right to get married.”

The CNN video:

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding