Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the federal ban on gay marriage this week. And he hopes Ohio’s ban on gay marriage is overturned, but he's counting on voters, not courts, to do that.
In 1996, Rob Portman voted for the federal Defense of Marriage Act as a member of the House of Representatives. In March, he said he’s evolved – since discovering his son is gay – and now supports gay marriage. And this week, he supported the high court vote to overturn DOMA.
But the conservative Republican does not want to see the courts overturn the constitutional ban on gay marriage that Ohio voters passed nearly a decade ago.
“This ought to be done through the democratic process and Ohio ought not to be told what to do in a court edict," says Portman. "I think ultimately this issue is best handled by citizen persuading citizen. I think that is going to result in more enduring change."
Portman says he likely would support a referendum to have voters overturn the ban so long as it included protections for religious organizations. But he says he would likely take no leadership role in that campaign anymore than he did when the ban passed in 2004.