Rob Portman, a Christian and high-ranking member of the GOP, has reversed his stance on gay marriage after telling the world his son is gay.
The Ohio senator told CNN that his son, Will, came forward while he was a freshman in college.
“I’m announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples’ opportunity to marry,” Portman said in an interview with Dana Bash.
Portman was a tireless campaigner for Mitt Romney in the last presidential election and came close to earning the vice presidential nomination, CNN said.
After speaking with CNN, Portman penned an emotional, heartfelt guest column for The Columbus Dispatch.
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He admitted there that, as a Christian, he’d always opposed same-sex marriage until Will came out to his parents two years ago.
“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,” Portman, 57, wrote.
“Ultimately, it came down to the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.”
Portman isn’t the first high-profile Republican to switch course, ABC News said, citing Jon Huntsman as another notable name to come out publicly in support of gay marriage.
The announcement was seen as enlightened by the Log Cabin Republicans, a 30-year-old group that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered rights in America.
“We also applaud and respect the senator’s decision as a person of faith who recognizes that there is a Christian case, as well as a conservative case for marriage equality,” Gregory T. Angelo, Log Cabin Republicans’ executive director, said on their website.
“Log Cabin Republicans welcomes Senator Portman’s support, and encourages his GOP colleagues in the Senate to join him on the right side of history.”
Portman's son tweeted:
Especially proud of my dad today dispatch.com/content/storie…
— Will Portman (@wdportman) March 15, 2013