Portman says he will support same sex marriage legislation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has indicated he would support a bill to codify and protect marriage for same sex couples.

The House of Representatives passed legislation, The Respect for Marriage Act, on Tuesday, which would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for federal purposes as between one man and one woman, and allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states.

That legislation was passed by a Republican controlled Congress and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

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The Supreme Court, in its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, invalidated DOMA and made same sex marriage legal.

The Respect for Marriage Act was passed in the House after supporters of same sex marriage rights became concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court would revisit and reverse it ruling, following Dobbs v. Jackson ruling overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed states to ban abortions.

In his concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as Griswold v. Connecticut, from 1965 decision, which found that married couples had a right to contraception, and Lawrence v. Texas, from 2003, which invalidated laws making same sex activity illegal.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House this week, 267-157, with all Democrats supporting the legislation, as well as 47 Republicans voting for it. All opposition was from Republicans.

The legislation now heads to the Senate, where it would need the support of 10 Republican senators to overcome a filibuster, assuming all Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them support it.

CNN asked all Republican senators this week of their stance on the legislation. As of Thursday, four Republicans, including Portman, said they will support it, while eight have expressed opposition and 16 said they are undecided. 22 did not offer a response.

Portman told CNN he would support the legislation, stating it would send an “important message” and noting that Republican views have changed on the issue over the years.

Portman, who previously opposed same sex marriage legalization, changed his stance in 2013, after his son revealed to him that he is gay.

On Thursday, Portman signed on as a co-sponsor of the Senate bill.

How they voted
The Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and codify same sex marriage, passed the U.S. House on Tuesday. Here is a look at how Ohio’s delegation voted on the legislation:

Democrats – Joyce Beatty, Shontel Brown, Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan
Republicans – Mike Carey, Anthony Gonzalez, Dave Joyce and Mike Turner

Democrats – None
Republicans – Troy Balderson, Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Bob Latta and Brad Wenstrup