(CNN) – The relationship between Matt R. Salmon and his father, GOP Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona, is loving and supportive, though the younger Matt still hopes one day his conservative father will support same-sex marriage.
"Yes, he doesn't support gay marriage, but that's no reason that I shouldn't love him, or just accept him for who he is," Salmon said Friday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," adding later "I hope that he changes his position" on marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman publicaly endorsed same-sex marriage in March, citing his gay son as the impetus for switching his position on the issue. Afterwards, Rep. Salmon was asked by an Arizona television station if Portman's shift had influenced his own views.
"I don't support gay marriage," Salmon said, adding later, "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."
But the difference in opinion hasn't led to a rift between father and son.
"I finally realized that no matter what our differences and opinions are, we have to love and support each other," Matt R. Salmon said on CNN Friday. "And since then, our relationship has really grown stronger. And I've watched as my dad has just really been a huge supporter of me."
The interview came the same day Republican Party leaders huddling in Los Angeles re-affirmed their opposition to same-sex marriage, despite recent attempts to tone down GOP rhetoric on the issue in an attempt to appeal to younger voters.
"Let me make crystal clear something I've said since January," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said before the vote. "While we have to do things differently, there's one thing that can't and won't change: our principles. There are some that would like us to abandon them, but as long as I'm chairman, we'll stay true to them."
Matt R. Salmon lamented that stance Friday, citing polls showing increased support for allowing same-sex couples to marry, even within the Republican Party.
"It's just a disappointment that the chairman and the co-chair are still sticking with these old views," he said.