Phil Burress, who helms the
Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values (CCV), has backed down
on his opposition to Ohio Senator Rob Portman's re-election.
Portman endorsed same-sex marriage in a
2013 op-ed, making him the first sitting Senate Republican to do so.
He credited his son's recent coming out for the change of heart.
Burress vowed to defeat Portman over
the issue and later called for his resignation.
“This is a policy with the pro-family
movement, not just us,” Burress told the Cleveland Plain
Dealer. “There's two non-negotiable issues: abortion and
marriage, or the 'homosexual agenda.' And if you're wrong on either
one of those, [we] will campaign against you and we will defeat you.”
“Senator Portman should step down
before the 2016 election so that conservatives can support a
pro-life/pro-natural marriage candidate,” he said in a press
With the general election approaching
and Portman on the GOP ticket, Burress has changed his tune.
“Ted Strickland was a horrible
governor,” Burress told OneNewsNow,
referring to Portman's Democratic rival. “He left it in tremendous
financial problems. And so the fact that Portman is winning is not
because of Portman – this is just a message that Strickland is so
He added that Portman's election was
critical to stop President Barack Obama from using his final days in
office to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
“If the Senate was to go to the
Democrats, President Obama would have about 15 days to appoint the
position to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Burress
said. “It would give them a five vote majority. So it is very
important that we keep the Senate.”
Burress and his organization led the
campaign to approve Ohio's 2004 constitutional amendment which
prohibited the state from recognizing any domestic relationship other than a
heterosexual marriage. Last year, the Supreme Court overturned the
marriage ban, ruling in Obergefell that gay and lesbian
couples have a constitutional right to marry.