Sen. Rob Portman's son speaks out on coming out, father's reversal on same-sex marriage

CINCINNATI - Rob Portman's son is speaking out about coming out.

Will Portman wrote a column for the Yale Daily News about his coming out as gay and his father's change of heart on same-sex marriage that came out Monday.

The senator's son is a junior at Yale University and is part of the school's Trumball College.

Will Portman said he came out to his parents in February of his freshman year. In his column, he said they were "full of questions, but absolutely rock-solid supportive."

Throughout the piece, Will Portman said everyone he came out to was warm and supportive.

While some have criticized Sen. Portman for not changing his mind on same-sex marriage sooner than he did, his son said that part of the reason of his father's reluctance was his own desire for privacy.

"Part of the reason for that is that it took time for him to think through the issue more deeply after the impetus of my coming out. But another factor was my reluctance to make my personal life public," Will Portman wrote.

The Yale junior said the process of people learning about his orientation has been strange and that he could do without "commentators weighing in to tell me things like living my life honestly and fully is ‘harmful to [me] and society as a whole.'"

Toward the end of the piece, Will Portman said he is proud of his father for taking a political risk in making his stand.

The op-ed comes amid a flurry of activity from his father's decision.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich at first appeared to support civil unions for same-sex couples when talking with the Scripps station in Cleveland, but his office later said he was using "the term civil union loosely."

For his part, Sen. Portman said he hasn't received much negative feedback after announcing his decision.

The senator spoke Saturday night at the annual Butler County GOP Lincoln Day dinner in Fairfield.

Fellow Cincinnati-native House Speaker John Boehner reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage after Portman made his announcement.

Meanwhile, big changes could be on the horizon for the issue nationwide.

The Supreme Court is set to hear challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. Those cases will be argued Tuesday and Wednesday but the rulings likely won't come until June.

To read Will Portman's column in its entirety, go to:

Print this article Back to Top