Last week, Ohio Senator Rob Portman became the first senate Republican to openly support gay marriage. Though he was previously an opponent of gay marriage, the senator claims to have had a change of heart that stems from learning that one of his sons is gay. In an editorial, the senator stated that he wants his son, Will, to have the same opportunities “to pursue happiness and fulfillment as his brother and sister.”
Though Portman eloquently laid out the case for gay marriage and asserted that his new position is, in fact, in keeping with the conservative principles of personal liberty and limited government intervention, it doesn’t seem to have convinced many other Republicans to change their view on the issue. Specifically, fellow Ohio politician and Speaker of the House John Boehner this weekend spoke on ABC’s This Week, and affirmed his anti-gay-marriage position. The politician even went as far as to say that he “can’t imagine” his position would ever change, even if one of his close family members were revealed to be gay:
It’s normal to see politicians be cagey on the Sunday morning talk shows when it comes to sensitive topics, but it’s clear that the gay marriage issue is quickly becoming a loser for Republicans. Listening closely to Boehner’s statement, he doesn’t explicitly mention gay marriage, instead opting to state, twice, that his definition of marriage only included unions between men and women.
Boehner’s reasoning for his position is that it’s the belief he grew up with, and that it’s what his church teaches him. Of course, Portman had a similar Ohio upbringing, and took two years after learning his son is gay to officially change his position on the issue. Look for more politicians (though maybe not Boehner) to have Portman-like turnarounds in the coming years, as demographics shift and gay marriage becomes legal in more states.