One Ohio politician is in support of marriage equality, but still has yet to back the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
Republican Senator Rob Portman said he is in favor of same-sex marriage after his son Will came out as gay.
Portman wrote an op/ed for the Columbus Dispatch in mid-March 2013 where he revealed that his college-aged son was gay. He explained that his son’s coming out was a turning point for him which pushed him to revaluate marriage and change his stance.
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other… the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married. That isn’t how I’ve always felt.” Portman continued, “Two years ago, my son Will…told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage.”
On May 7, Portman was featured on BuzzFeed Brews where he spoke about his stance on equality marriage and ENDA. Portman believes that laws regarding same-sex marriage should be determined by each state. Regardless, he said, “I don’t like DOMA.”
However he has yet to endorse the new version of ENDA, which protects gender non-conformists from discrimination. In his segment on BuzzFeed he stated, “the current version of ENDA that I have looked at, I have some concerns about. One, about the litigation it would result because it could be heavily litigated the way it’s written… it would encourage lawsuits based on some standards that are in my view a gray area.”
Portman’s Press Secretary, Caitlin Dunn, further explained the Senator’s philosophy on ENDA in an interview with 429Magazine. “Senator Portman is strongly opposed to discrimination and is looking at proposals to address it. He is concerned about excessive reliance on litigation as a tool for social change, but he has not studied the most recent version of ENDA”