Gay Marriage | I'm Gay | News | Republican Party | Rob Portman

Will Portman Says He's 'Especially Proud' of His Dad for Coming Out for Marriage Equality


As you may know, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) last night became the first sitting Republican U.S. Senator to support marriage equality, telling CNN's Dana Bash that he evolved on the issue after his son told him he was gay.

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."

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  1. When your acceptance of gay folk is completely self-serving, I'm not impressed.

    There. I said that as nicely as I could.

    Posted by: lewlew | Mar 15, 2013 2:37:49 PM

  2. the best thing about this is that it utterly HAS to get other anti-Equality folks, on both sides of the aisle, to start to think hard about Factual Reality - no family, no matter what their religious, social or political views, is "immune" from having gay children.

    we. are. everywhere.

    it speaks to the greater truth - we affect more change when we Personalize - put a face, a name, a PERSON to "what gay is". when people realize that they are discriminating against their own blood, those with a conscience will be move to change.

    so, kudos to this family and their first big steps. and may it inspire more progressive change in them, and their friends and political affiliates.

    and may the Portman's now speak out against any and all anti-LGBT policies, get behind ENDA, and actually address the ongoing use of "gays" as a wedge-issue by the GOP.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 15, 2013 3:01:54 PM

  3. Ditto JohnAGJ.

    This is a big deal. Congrats on coming out so publicly Will, and thank you for moving your dad along. As as you're learning very quickly, there are a lot of gays who can't get out of their own victimhood.

    Thank you thank you!

    Posted by: Wade | Mar 15, 2013 3:01:58 PM

  4. I can't understand the pervasive negative and bitter responses to the Portman announcements at towleroad. I'm not surprised, but I can't understand it. Most people, politician or not, only change long-held beliefs when it becomes personal for them. That's human nature, especially in this country. Also, who knows how SCOTUS will go on marriage equality. There are still those who seek to overturn DOMA legislatively, and we now have the first sitting REPUBLICAN senator who has moved over to supporting marriage equality. This is big--but nothing is ever good enough for the bitter commenters at towleroad.

    Posted by: jim | Mar 15, 2013 3:28:26 PM

  5. What Brian said.

    Posted by: Lance | Mar 15, 2013 3:35:01 PM

  6. JIM - I hear you, but i think you're not hearing others: specifically, if change is only going to come when the gay children of anti-gay conservatives Come Out, how bloody long is that going to take?

    clearly, having gay friends wasn't enough to change Portman's history of anti-gay votings. Nor was any comprehension of LGBT youth suicides, basic human inequality issues, nor stopping to think about, well, other gay people's kids.

    yes. many folks only change when it becomes "personal", and by personal we mean "in our immediate family" - but that doesn't mean that that's OK - or even particularly noble.

    i think it's great that he has developed empathy from understanding he's been voting and working against his own son for all these years. now if only folks would learn to have empathy, you know, for other people's children.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 15, 2013 3:42:38 PM

  7. Really, Jim? You don't get it? A man who is elected to serve his constituents and the U.S. Constitution is vehemently against some U.S. citizens until his own flesh and blood turns out to be one of those very citizens? And then announces his craven about-face on SOME of his anti-gay stances only AFTER the presidential election, holding on to that news - and likely having those anti-gay stances in the first place - in efforts to suck up to voters he perceives to be bigoted? That's what some of the reaction is about, Jim.

    Posted by: Zlick | Mar 15, 2013 3:58:59 PM

  8. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Of course the reason sucks, but, bottom line, a pretty important Republican Senator just expressed his support. I say kill Sen. Portman with kindness, get him to do our bidding with other Repubs, and focus all this negative eneergy on people who are still our enemies.

    Posted by: RHR IN TN | Mar 15, 2013 4:00:36 PM

  9. This Senator does need to update us on his ENDA position. Most people support ENDA. This shouldn't be a big deal.

    (Actually, can we get beyond ENDA, and just add "sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression" to the various Civil Rights Acts that already exist?)

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 15, 2013 5:09:20 PM

  10. I really hope this kid never read this. He is proud of his dad, and he has reasons to be proud of his dad.
    He is raised in a republican family and instead of stay closeted, marry a girl and cheat on her with guys, he came out.
    And his coming out has an impact in his dad views, wich is good.

    Sorry but i don't understand the hateful coments in this case

    Posted by: jjose712 | Mar 15, 2013 5:56:45 PM

  11. When i was saying that i hope he never read this i was refering to some coments.

    He didn't call his dad a hero, or wanted praise for him about his change of mind, he is simply proud of him, and in my opinion he has reasons to be proud of him

    Posted by: jjose712 | Mar 15, 2013 5:59:32 PM

  12. Randy, Portman opposes ENDA (after his son came out) and, worse, supports tougher "religious protections".

    Posted by: BobN | Mar 15, 2013 6:29:59 PM

  13. For those of you who don't understand the negative comments, my straight married sister from Ohio called the revelation this morning "GALLING". How dare he bring his son into it? As a public servant, you can say you have evolved, fine. But your son came out two years ago. You were being offered the Vice-Presidency candidacy a few months ago. We can do the math, Senator Portman.
    I don't consider the commenters here bitter, victimized, or negative. They are self-realized, honest, empathic men, speaking the truth. We say thanks to elder Portman for his support, and to his son for coming out. But we don't ignore the context. Compassionate conservatives need to rethink their positions, or at least their adjectives.

    Posted by: Shane | Mar 15, 2013 7:43:40 PM

  14. Happily for Portman the younger, the same method of banning marriage and civil unions by constitutional amendment used back in 2004 in his father's represented state and I'm assuming his own home state can also be used to recover that right, though who knows how long that will take. It's good that he's only 21 and might not have found any one to marry or even join in a civil union with yet.
    But then if he ends up wishing to join with a non-citizen, then that just ends up being a whole different barrel of fish and who knows if Portman's states' democratic processes (as per ) will be able to get around that.

    Posted by: DK | Mar 15, 2013 8:53:00 PM

  15. I'm a democrat, lifelong democrat..but the negative comments here are coming from democrats who DON'T CARE about marriage equality, and LOVE to see marriage equality be a wedge issue between democrats and republicans. They find it threatening that a republican could be for gay marriage, because for marriage isn't that big of an issue, other democratic policies are bigger issues...but they use gay marriage as a manipulative tactic to entice gay people to the democratic party. In otehr words, it's not marriage equality that matters for them, it's the needs of the democratic party that trumps that.

    For the rest of us who believe in marriage equality more than any political party..we celebrate this news and celebrate ANYONE who comes out in favor of marriage equality (be they democrat, republican or libertarian)

    THANK YOU WILL for coming out, attaching a face to our community, and campaigning for your, our and all LGBT rights. YOU made a huge impact on society and so has your dad today.

    Posted by: Ali Berzon | Mar 16, 2013 4:35:26 AM

  16. This kid is brave and he's a personal hero of mine. Thank you for coming out Will, and know that there's many trolls who post on this site, but the gay community thanks you and your bravery to come out. Also saw a pic of your family and your two dogs are adorable =) please thank your Dad for speaking up for our rights. It means a great deal to many of us.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Mar 16, 2013 4:38:59 AM

  17. It may be crude to say, but I can't wait for the nude pics of Will to make their way out :) His dad may be an ass, but Will is a hotty.

    Posted by: Wiley | Mar 16, 2013 12:57:54 PM

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