April 12th, 2013
09:26 PM ET
10 years ago

Gay son of GOP lawmaker describes family's love

(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.

Filed under: Same-sex marriage
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Tania

    Republicans just don't get it.

    April 12, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Shame on you Senator, embrace your son and reject Republican hate!

    April 12, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Thomas

    What an honest and admiral person.

    He should run for office.

    April 12, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  4. freedom

    "old views" – that's the catch phrase – It's not old – it's nature – no matter what you believe biblically. Only a man and a woman can create a life. Who raises that life is another story. It is best in a loving family setting. But the issue of marriage is wholly based on the premise that a man and woman are the only two who can join as a union and create a life.

    April 13, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  5. Frank Rivera

    What kind of love is love that treats you like a second class citizen.

    April 13, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  6. nothing new here

    We the people, need better representation in politics.
    We do not need anymore of these people that have the mentality of tabloid reporters – we need politicians that will make this country great again, and do it without violating the privacy of every citizen of this country.

    April 13, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  7. Jeffrey Marks

    Sorry, he doesn't "support" you if he doesn't want you to have the same rights and opportunities as his other children.

    April 13, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Religion still persecutes those it refuses to understand.

    April 13, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  9. clarke

    So what if his son is gay, it doesn't change the fact that is still his child. Being gay is not a crime! It's okay that some people don't support it, that is what they believe and it's okay if you support it because that is what you believe. IMHO!

    April 13, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |