COLUMBIS, Ohio — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the first GOP senator to support marriage equality for same-sex couples, says he’s not a fan of Monday’s federal court ruling that would force the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.
“I’m someone who believes people ought to have the right to marry anyone they want to,” the first-term Republican told WBNS-TV on Wednesday.
“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,” he said.
Portman told The Vindicator of Youngstown that marriage rights should be decided by states.
Portman announced his support for marriage equality last year, citing a change of heart that came after his son, Will, a college student at Yale, came out as gay.
He’s alone among leading Republicans in Ohio. Attorney General Mike DeWine plans to fight U.S. District Judge Timothy Black’s ruling on Monday that Ohio should recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, just as it recognizes other unions it refuses to license inside its borders.
Article continues belowGov. John Kasich, who opposes marriage rights for Ohioans in same-sex relationships, backs DeWine’s appeal.
In Washington, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) also has opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination laws.
“I think here in Ohio and around the country opinions are changing,” Portman told WBNS-TV. “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.”