Rob Portman Now Supports Gay Marriage

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With rampant headlines and social buzz today, Sen. Rob Portman announced that he has reconsidered his view on gay marriage. Prompted by his son, Will, coming out to him and his wife two years ago, the elder Portman publicly declared his support for marriage equality.

It's a noteworthy break from conservative circles and may prove to be a bellwether in coming months and years (and election campaigns). It's also a break from politicking as usual, which is incredibly welcome.

But Portman's reliance on his own family experience showcases an undeniable truth: Our representatives do little more than represent their own worldviews and their own perspectives on matters. He explained that his son's coming-out pushed him to think about things differently. It remains unclear what sort of effect Ohio's more than 300,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual residents may have had on the senator's thinking.

In an op-ed published today in the Columbus Dispatch, Portman writes:

I wrestled with how to reconcile my Christian faith with my desire for Will to have the same opportunities to pursue happiness and fulfillment as his brother and sister. Ultimately, it came down to the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.

However tortuous his route to this decision, the high-profile announcement certainly changes the tone of the debate both nationwide and in the run-up to 2016's presidential election.

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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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