Newspaper article Roll Call

Portman Gay Marriage Reversal Gets Muted Hill Response

Newspaper article Roll Call

Portman Gay Marriage Reversal Gets Muted Hill Response

Article excerpt

GOP leaders on the Hill declined to criticize Sen. Rob Portman"s decision to support gay marriage, after years of opposing it on religious grounds.

"Sen. Portman is a friend and ally,' said a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio. "The Speaker respects his position, but the Speaker continues to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.'

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that Portman had talked to the leader about his change of heart prior to making the announcement, but that McConnell had no immediate comment, noting that it was a personal matter for Portman.

Portman, who was vetted as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012, arrived at his new position after his son Will told his parents that he was gay.

The Ohio Republican announced his position in an interview with CNN and a newspaper opinion piece.

"My son came to Jane - my wife - and I, told us that he was gay and that it was not a choice,' Portman said in the interview, adding that the news led to a very personal process for the senator that included discussions with clergy. "During my career in the House and also the last couple years here in the Senate, you know, I"ve taken a position against gay marriage,' he said.

Portman also wrote an opinion piece in Friday"s Columbus Dispatch to expand on how his position has evolved, saying that he heard from his son two years ago.

Reaction around the Capitol was similarly muted. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., declined to comment, noting that he only recently read Portman"s article.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., only said, "Rob is a good man, he is a good man.'

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, noted that each person must make up his own mind on the issue, but said his position remains firm. …

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