Donnelly discusses gay marriage after Ohio Senator switches viewpoint

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly spoke with NewsChannel 15 Friday afternoon about his reaction to Ohio Senator Rob Portman changing his stance on gay marriage after his son came out.

Senator Portman is now the only Senate Republican to support gay marriage.

As a member of the House in 1996, Portman had voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Portman told reporters Thursday in Washington that his views began changing in 2011 when his college-age son Will told his parents he was gay.

Portman says he reconsidered gay marriage from a different perspective, one of a father who wants all three of his children to have happy lives with people they love.

Donnelly, a Democrat, has said he is against legalizing same-sex marriage, but he does agree that gay people should have certain rights.

"I believe that our friends who are gay have the opportunity to have a wonderful fulfilling life that they can have benefits for their partners and so I stand with Rob on much of this," Donnelly said Friday in an interview.

Indiana's Republican Senator Dan Coats and Republican Congressman Marlin Stutzman are also on the side of not legalizing same-sex marriage.

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