Rob Portman on Civil Rights
Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (OH-2)
A handful of Republican senators have this year called for legalizing same-sex marriage, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who has a gay son. Proponents of the legislation will need to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to avoid a filibuster, meaning that at least five Republicans will have to vote for the legislation (assuming every Democrat and independent also votes for the bill).
(VIDEO) PORTMAN: I'm announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples' opportunity to marry. I've come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I've had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay.
Q: Is gay marriage a civil rights issue?
Gov. SCOTT WALKER: In our state, it was in the constitution years ago [protecting homosexual civil rights, but not gay marriage]. It rarely is an issue. I focus on the economic and fiscal crisis. People don't want to get focused on [gay marriage] issues.
That isn't how I've always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.
Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife 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. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he'd always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.
I wrestled with how to reconcile my Christian faith with my desire for Will to have the same opportunities to pursue happiness and fulfillment as his brother and sister. Ultimately, it came down to the Bible's overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.
Well-intentioned people can disagree on the question of marriage for gay couples, and maintaining religious freedom is as important as pursuing civil marriage rights. For example, I believe that no law should force religious institutions to perform weddings or recognize marriages they don't approve of.
Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic): House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.
Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.
The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"
|Other candidates on Civil Rights:||Rob Portman on other issues:|
2016 Democratic Candidates:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
2016 GOP Candidates:
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)