Republican senator reverses his opposition to gay marriage after his 21-year-old son comes out
A respected Republican senator has announced he is reversing his stance against gay marriage after his 21-year-old son came out to him and his wife.
Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican considered as a running mate by the Romney campaign, said the discovery that his son Will, 21, was gay had given him a 'new perspective' and understanding of why equal opportunities matter.
Will, a junior at Yale University, came out to his politician father and mother, Jane, two years ago, The Plain Dealer reports.
Portman, who backed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, says since his son's announcement he has been reconsidering his views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
He said he had spent some time speaking to his church in Cincinnati and former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter is gay.
Today he wanted to officially and publicly reverse his political position on the issue.
'It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, 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 told the local paper.
'The overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible, and certainly the Golden Rule, and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker, that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue.'
He added that he believed opening marriage up to homosexual couples 'strengthens the institution' and he realized his son's sexuality 'wasn't a choice'.
He said his son had not exerted any influence on him politically but supported his new position and 'encouraged' him.
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