Portman Says Opinions On Gay Marriage In Ohio Are Changing

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UPDATED: Wednesday April 16, 2014 5:55 PM

Senator Rob Portman says states should remain in charge of determining the fate of gay marriage, but it may not take too long for it to be accepted across the country.

"I think this issue is being resolved from friends talking to friends, neighbors to neighbors, within families," said Portman.  "My concern about having an edict come down from the federal courts is that you're going to have a lot of push back rather than having a conversation take place, which is happening, right now."

Portman, once a staunch opponent of gay marriage, reversed his position last year after his son Will told him he was gay.

"I think it's the right thing to do," said Portman.  "My sense is it's moving in that direction.  I just believe in my heart it's the right thing to do.  We shouldn't discriminate against people."

Portman says Attorney General Mike DeWine and Gov John Kasich are free to challenge a ruling last week by judge Timothy Black that forces Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

"I'm someone who believes people ought to have the right to marry anyone they want to," said Portman.  "But I also know that family law has always been in the province of the states and to have real enduring change, and to have it be something that lasts and people believe in, I think it's more effective if you don't have an edict from federal courts."

While not condemning his fellow lawmakers who oppose gay marriage, Portman comes close to suggesting that history will be on the side of supporters.

"I think here in Ohio and around the country opinions are changing," said Portman.  "I don't think we should be telling people because they're gay they can't have a job.  I don't think we should be telling people because they are gay they can't have the joy and stability I've had in my marriage and I wish for others."

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