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Portman becomes Senate's only Republican to support gay marriage

Friday - 3/15/2013, 3:28pm  ET

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is now the only Senate Republican to support gay marriage. And he says he changed his mind on the issue after his college-age son told his parents two years ago that he's gay.

Writing today in The Columbus Dispatch, Portman says if two people are ready to make a "lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad," the government shouldn't keep them from getting married.

He says his son Will told Portman and his wife that being gay wasn't a choice, but was "part of who he was." The senator says he and his wife were very surprised, but also supportive.

He told reporters today that his earlier views on marriage were rooted in his Methodist faith.

Portman was considered but not chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate last year.

Portman voted for the Defense of Marriage Act when he was in the House in 1996, but now says he'd like for Congress to repeal the part of that law that bans federal recognition of gay marriage. He still says states shouldn't be forced to recognize those marriages.

%@AP Links

152-c-18-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP correspondent)-"recognize such marriages"-AP correspondent Sagar Meghani reports Portman voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act while a House member in 1996. (15 Mar 2013)

<> 00:18 "recognize such marriages"

151-c-24-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP correspondent)-"same-sex marriage in 1996"-AP correspondent Sagar Meghani reports GOP Senator Rob Portman says he now supports gay marriage. (15 Mar 2013)

<> 00:24 "same-sex marriage in 1996"

GRAPHICSBANK: Rob Portman, as US Senator of Ohio, addresses the 2012 Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, graphic element on gray (15 Mar 2013)

APPHOTO NY115: FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2012 file photo, Ohio Senator Rob Portman waves to the delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Portman said Thursday, March 14, 2013 that he now supports gay marriage and says his reversal on the issue began when he learned one of his sons is gay. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (29 Aug 2012)


APPHOTO CS103: This photo made Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio, shows U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, wearing the red jersey, riding in Pelotonia with his son Will Portman, right. Portman said his views on gay marriage began changing in 2011 when his son, Will, then a freshman at Yale University, told his parents he was gay and that it wasn't a choice but "part of who he was." Portman said he and his wife, Jane, were very surprised but also supportive. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (11 Aug 2012)


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