House Speaker John Boehner and Kansas
Rep. Tim Huelskamp say that, unlike Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a gay
son would not sway them on their opposition to gay marriage.
Portman, a Republican, on Friday
announced that he had reversed his stance on the issue, revealing
that his son, Will Portman, had come out to him and his wife, Jane,
two years earlier. Portman is the first GOP senator to buck the
party's official stance.
In an op-ed and later in a sit-down
with CNN, Portman added that he was not prepared to advocate on the
issue. A critical point, considering marriage equality advocates are
working to repeal Ohio's constitutional amendment defining marriage
as a heterosexual union.
Rob Portman reverses course on gay marriage.)
At the Conservative Political Action
Committee (CPAC) taking place this weekend at National Harbor,
Maryland, ThinkProgress.com's Scott Keyes asked Huelskamp whether
having a son come out would affect his stance on marriage equality.
“Well, I agree with Sen. Portman when
he ran for election,” Huelskamp
replied. “And that's the principle. The principle is,
traditional marriage and family is the foundation of society. It's
been a conservative bedrock principle for many years. And one thing
that we have to do as conservatives, I believe, is actually
communicate the value of marriage and family for the children. …
Bill Clinton and myself, Bill Clinton in 1997 had the same position I
have today. Actually Barack Obama had the same position two years
ago. Isn't it amazing how you read the tea leaves, you read the
polls, and at the end of the day something suddenly changes over
“So, to clarify, you would still
oppose same-sex marriage even if your own son came out?”
“I support traditional marriage,”
Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, had a
similar response during an interview on ABC's This Week.
“Can you imagine yourself in a
situation where you reversed your decision as Portman has on gay
marriage, if a child of yours or someone you love told you they were
gay?” host Martha Raddatz asked.
“Listen, I believe marriage is a
union between one man and one woman,” Boehner answered. “It's
what I grew up with. It's what I believe. It's what my church
teaches me. And I can't imagine that position would ever change.”
(The video is embedded on this page. Visit
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Burress urged Rob Portman to reject his gay son.)