Former Arizona state Senator, Republican Matt Salmon, said he does not support gay marriage even though his 22-year-old son is openly gay.
“My view is while I don’t believe we should be vitriolic and try to enact harmful policies, by the same token, I’m just not there as far as believing in my heart that we should change 2,000 years of social policy in favor of a redefinition of the family, I’m not there,” said Salmon, in a recent interview with 3 TV.
But the conservative Mormon Senator still claims to support and love his son, who is in a committed relationship with the second cousin of conservative Mormon Republican US Congressman Jeff Flake.
“My son is by far one of most important people in my life, I love him more than I can say,” said Salmon. “It doesn’t mean that I don’t have respect; it doesn’t mean that I don’t sympathize with some of the issues. It just means I haven’t evolved to that stage.”
Though the senator is not ready to change his mind regarding marriage, he does believe that his son did not choose to be gay.
He explained that “I don’t believe that this is a lifestyle he chose. In fact, I do remember him telling me at one point in time ‘Dad, do you truly believe that if I could have chosen a lifestyle, I would have chosen this, with all the things that come along with it?’”
In contrast, Republican Senator of Ohio Rob Portman came out in support of marriage equality last month after announcing that his son was gay.
“We were surprised to learn he is gay, but knew he was still the same person he’d always been,” said Portman. “The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.”
“I think we should be allowing gay couples the joy and stability of marriage,” Portman said in an interview with Cincinnati.com.
“It just means that I haven’t evolved to that station,” said Salmon. “Rob Portman apparently has. I haven’t.”