He invited CNN to his Senate office to reveal the news.
"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," Portman told CNN.
It has to do with another revelation, one deeply personal. His 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.
"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," said Portman.
Will Portman told his father and mother he is gay two years ago, when he was a freshman at Yale University.
"My son came to Jane, my wife, and I, told us that he was gay, and that it was not a choice, and that it's just part of who he is, and that's who he'd been that way for as long as he could remember," said Portman.
Portman says his son, now a junior in college, helped him work through his decision to announce his change in position on gay marriage and blessed the idea of publicly announcing Will Portman's sexuality.
"I think he's happy and, you know, proud that we've come to this point, but he let it be my decision just as you know, it's going to be his decision as to the role he plays going forward in this whole issue," said Portman.
Last year, when Romney was vetting Portman to be his running mate, the Ohio Republican informed both Romney and his top campaign advisers that he has a gay son.
"I told Mitt Romney everything," said Portman with a laugh. "That process is, intrusive would be one way to put it. But, no, yeah, I told him everything."
Portman, who was ultimately passed over as the GOP vice-presidential candidate in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan, said the fact that his son is gay was not the deal breaker for Romney. How does he know?
"Well, because they told me," said Portman.
quote:To be fair, this seems like a common occurrence with republican politicians, Dick Cheney for example. Still, it's good news, and will likely be received as such.
and for the fact that it took him having a gay son to realize this.
Yeah. It's pretty sad that it took having a gay son to realize his errors.
quote:So anyone who has ever been against gay marriage at any point in their life (which includes barack obama and every president ever and just about every liberal/democratic politician ever prior to the early 2000s) is schizophrenic?
No it's clearly better to have a representative or senator that has a grip on reality
Would it have been better for him to NOT change his mind after he found out his son was gay?
He can't win.