Disabilities Treaty Creates Rift Between Portman & Dole

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Sen Rob Portman says a claim by former Sen Bob Dole that he opposes a disabilities treaty due to his support of same-sex marriage is not true.

"It's obviously not true because the treaty I voted against in 2012 came long before I made my announcement on my change of position on same sex marriage," said Portman.  "They are totally unrelated."

Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, said Wednesday that Portman had told him that he couldn't support the treaty because he now supported same-sex marriage.

"I've not talked to him recently," Portman told 10TV.  "I look at everything on its merits and I'm taking positions viewed by some groups as good and some groups as bad constantly."

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was negotiated by the Bush administration.

Portman was one of 36 GOP senators to oppose it in 2012 but he says he could support another version with changes.

"I think there could be some changes made in the treaty to make it more acceptable but it has nothing to do with any other issue," said Portman.  "Whether it's gun control, abortion or same-sex marriage or tax reform, I tend to look at things not just on their merits but individually and separately."

The issue has split the Republican Party with Bush, Sen John McCain and Dole on one side, and conservatives and supporters of home-schooling on the other.