As we reported earlier this morning, Senator Ron Portman from Ohio became the first sitting US Senator to endorse marriage equality after one of his sons came out to him. Now the reactions are rolling in.
The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party says he stands behind Senator Portman, as does the Ohio GOP. GBTQ Nation reports:
“Certainly, you can’t question Rob’s conservative credentials when it comes to issues affecting the Republican Party,” Bennett said in an interview. “I think we’ll be fine. And the party is a big tent. We welcome people holding a wide range of positions on some very difficult issues.” Still, Bennett said the state GOP received a flurry of phone calls for about two hours on Friday morning from people upset about Portman’s stance. But he said the calls were fewer in number than those offering their opinions on Republican Gov. John Kasich’s state budget proposal.
Over at LGBTQ Nation, they’re taking a look at what Portman’s conversion may mean for the party as a whole, and hilights John Boehner’s response:
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, who shares Portman’s Cincinnati background, said the senator “is a great friend and ally, and the speaker respects his position, but the speaker continues to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.” In January, Boehner chastised the Obama administration for dropping its legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court is to consider this month. Boehner authorized the continued use of public funds to defend the law in courts. Boehner’s latest comments reflect the change among many mainstream Republicans, who now deal with gay marriage in largely unemotional, legalistic terms rather than emotional terms about sin and God’s will.
Over in Utah, the ever classy Mormon representative Jason Chaffetz sais if one of his sons came out, he wouldn’t support marriage equality. Queerty reports:
“I would love them with all of my heart, all my heart, absolutely…I just believe in traditional marriage, that’s what i believe in. And I believe somebody who is gay can still be very happy and thrive and we want nothing with but the best for them. I don’t want to discriminate against them, but I just happen to believe in traditional marriage.”
At Washington Monthly, Ed Kilgore thinks the Portman evolution could be a tipping point on the right:
But Portman’s move could trigger a wave of conversions in the Republican ranks, and that in turn could break down legal resistance to same-sex marriage. Already we’ve seen most conservatives abandon the “traditional marriage” cause as a backlash generator and vote mobilizer. Now we’ll see if votes change in state legislatures, and the walls come tumbling down.
And Senator Portman’s gay son tweeted out support for his dad this morning after the announcement:
Will Portman, his son, praised his dad on Twitter early this morning, writing “Especially proud of my dad today”. The younger Portman goes to Yale, according to his Twitter profile, and has an interest in “int’l development, prisons, Latin America, whitewater kayaking, @sporcle, lots more.”