A US Senator has changed his stance on same-sex marriage, and now supports it, after finding out his son is gay.
Republican Senator Rob Portman, of Ohio, said in his announcement “I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.”
His change of heart comes shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, thus making same-sex marriage illegal.
His dramatic shift of stance on the issue is due to a personal experience with his son, who told his parents in 2011 that he was gay. When asked what his reaction had been to his son’s revelation Portman replied, “Love, support, 110%.”
On the same day Portman’s fellow Republican senator, Marco Rubio, defended his opposition to same-sex marriage. “Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot,” he said at a conference in Maryland yesterday.
However, Portman cited the British Prime Minister saying: “David Cameron has said he supports allowing gay couples to marry because he is a conservative, not in spite of it. I feel the same way. We conservatives believe in personal liberty and minimal government interference in people’s lives.”
Portman’s new stance makes him the only sitting Republic Senator to publicly back same-sex marriage.