Gay son doesn’t change Arizona congressman’s position against same-sex marriage

Liz Goodwin
The Ticket

A Republican congressman from Arizona told a local news station that his son's sexual orientation hasn't changed his view that same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry.

Rep. Matt Salmon, from Arizona's 5th Congressional District, told 3TV that he loves his son and does not believe he chose to be gay, but that he has not "evolved" to the position that his son should be allowed to marry someone of the same sex.

"I don't support the gay marriage," Salmon says in the clip. "My son is by far one of the most important people in my life. I love him more than I can say. I'm just not there as far as believing in my heart that we should change 2,000 years of social policy in favor of a redefinition of the family. I'm not there.

"It doesn't mean that I don't have respect," he continued. "It doesn't mean that I don't sympathize with some of the issues. It just means I haven't evolved to that station."

Last week, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio became the most prominent Republican politician to announce his support for same-sex marriage. He wrote in an op-ed that he changed his strong stance against gay marriage after his son came out as gay to Portman and his wife, when he was a college freshman two years ago. "Knowing that my son is gay prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective: that of a dad who wants all three of his kids to lead happy, meaningful lives with the people they love, a blessing Jane and I have shared for 26 years," he wrote.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases last week that could pave the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage in California and other states. Their decisions aren't expected until June.