Boehner ‘I Can’t Imagine’ Ever Supporting Gay Marriage

On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) addressed Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) newfound support for same sex marriage, which the senator said was influenced by his son coming out as gay.

Boehner said he appreciates Portman’s change of heart, but “can’t imagine” that his own opposition to gay marriage would ever change, even if he had a child who was gay.

His exchange with host Martha Raddatz.

MARTHA RADDATZ: There was a surprise this week. Senator Rob Portman, who is a close friend of yours, a conservative from Ohio, said he has had a change of heart about gay marriage. He will now support gay marriage after learning his own 21-year-old son Will is gay. Has Portman shared this with you?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: He has, in fact, called. Listen, Rob’s a great friend and a long-time ally. And I appreciate that he’s decided to change his views on this. But I believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Can you imagine yourself in a situation where you reversed your decision, as Portman has, on gay marriage if a child of yours or someone you love told you they were gay?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. All right. It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe. It’s what my church teaches me. And I can’t imagine that position would ever change.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Will Portman said it was not a choice. So, how do you justify denying him a right to marriage?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, I think that Rob can make up his own mind, take his own position. But I’ve made clear my position.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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