Rob Portman's Son: Why Dad Backs Gay Marriage

Will Portman describes coming out

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2013 10:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – When Sen. Rob Portman announced his shift in support of gay marriage, he cited his son's coming out as a factor. Now, Will Portman, a junior at Yale, is offering his own side of the story in the university's Daily News. His mother and father were immediately "rock-solid supportive" when, as a freshman, he told them he was gay. It took his father another two years to publicly support gay marriage. One reason for that: "my reluctance to make my personal life public."

The two agreed that Rob Portman would discuss his son's sexuality if he shifted on marriage equality. "It would be the only honest way to explain his change of heart. Besides, the fact that I was gay would probably become public anyway," Will writes. Had his father been picked as Mitt Romney's VP candidate, the family would have been "open about it" on the stump. Now, "I’m proud of my dad, not necessarily because of where he is now on marriage equality (although I’m pretty psyched about that), but ... because he’s shown that he’s willing to take a political risk in order to take a principled stand." Click for Portman's full column.

Senate Energy Committee member Sen. Rob Portman sits in on the committee's discussion on the nomination of Sally Jewell to be secretary of the Interior, Thursday, March 21, 2013, on Capitol Hill.
Senate Energy Committee member Sen. Rob Portman sits in on the committee's discussion on the nomination of Sally Jewell to be secretary of the Interior, Thursday, March 21, 2013, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Portman, right, and his son, Will.
Sen. Portman, right, and his son, Will.   (AP Photo/Office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman)
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