Republican Senator Embraces His Son...and Marriage Equality

Republican Ohio Senator, Rob Portman, has done a complete 180 on marriage equality. While he once supported the discriminatory 'Defense of Marriage Act' and a federal marriage amendment, he has now come out in support of marriage equality.

What made him change? His son.

According to a CNN interview, Portman's son, Will, came out to him in 2011, and it is that personal connection that has made the difference.

We have long known that knowing someone who is gay and lesbian is the strongest indication of support for things like marriage equality and employment non-discrimination. Senator Portman's son was courageous to share his life with his father, and Senator Portman is clearly responding as a loving father should. He wants his son to have the freedoms and protections that are afforded to all Americans, and he knows that laws like the discriminatory 'Defense of Marriage Act' prevent that from happening.

Senator Portman's support also demonstrates that marriage equality is a bipartisan issue. A majority of Americans – 59 percent – agree that marriage is a basic freedom that should not be denied to gay people. 

GLAAD is very happy to welcome Senator Portman to the ever-growing list of faith leaders, leaders from African American and Hispanic communities, and figures from the world of sports and business.

On March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court will begin oral arguments on two cases on marriage equality. Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as anyone else and should be able to make a vow of love and lifetime commitment to one another. Marrying the person you love is a fundamental freedom, and a matter of basic fairness. 

GLAAD is actively working with the Respect for Marriage Coalition, as well as with the United for Marriage coordinating team, to bring your voice to DC and make sure you are fully represented and informed. It is time for our nation's highest court to ensure that lesbian and gay couples are treated fairly under the law. Find an upcoming event near you to make clear your support for marriage equality. to learn more, and join us in Washington D.C. on March 26 and 27.