Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced on Thursday that he supports same-sex marriage after reassessing the issue when his son, Will Portman ’14, told him he was gay.
According to cleveland.com, Portman told reporters that after his son came out to him two years ago, he saw the issue from “a new perspective” and turned to clergy members, friends and the Bible for guidance, finding the Bible’s “overriding message of love and compassion,” the “Golden Rule” and the idea that all are created by God influential in changing his position.
Portman, who voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act as a member of the House of Representatives, told reporters that he does not know other sitting GOP U.S. senators who also support same-sex marriage.
Portman’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage is one of many by Republicans in the last few months. Many prominent Republicans, including Jon Huntsman Jr., Meg Whitman, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Massachusetts Govs. William Weld and Jane Swift, signed a brief submitted to the Supreme Court in late February arguing that same-sex marriage should be legal. In the Ivy League, the Columbia University College Republicans announced their support for marriage equality on Valentine’s Day.
The District of Columbia and nine states, including Connecticut, have legalized same-sex marriage.