Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Thursday announced he has reversed his longtime opposition to same-sex marriage after reconsidering the issue because his 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.So, how do we make legislators have children who grow up in poverty?
Portman said his son, a junior at Yale University, told him and his wife, Jane, that he's gay and "it was not a choice, it was who he is and that he had been that way since he could remember."
"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 reporters in an interview at his office.
The conversation the Portmans had with their son two years ago led to him to evolve on the issue after he consulted clergy members, friends -- including former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter is gay -- and the Bible.
"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," Portman said, adding that he feels that "in a way, this strengthens the institution of marriage."
Portman said his son didn't push him to make his announcement, though he "encouraged me."
Portman, who backed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, said he now thinks parts of that bill should be repealed, though he hasn't considered introducing such legislation himself because economic policy issues are his specialty.
Seriously, if it doesn't happen to them and theirs, it does not exist.