Ohio Anti-Gay Leader Calls Rob Portman 'A Very Troubled Man' For Endorsing Marriage Equality

Anti-gay activists have started hurling attacks against Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) for reversing his opposition to marriage equality after his son came out as gay.

Phil Burress of the Religious Right group Citizens for Community Values, which is based in Ohio, told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow that Portman is a “a very troubled man right now” and is “distraught over what’s happening with his son.”

Burress added that Portman had assured him that he won’t help any campaign to repeal Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage despite his new position: “Rob did tell me that he would not campaign for the same-sex marriage issue if it got on the ballot in Ohio. He would not be their spokesman or participate in their campaign.”

Phil Burress is chairman of the Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values Action Political Action Committee. He says Portman, who is a personal friend, talked with him Thursday night.

"I just have a feeling that his son was pushing him into this for political reasons,” Burress tells American Family News. “But Rob did tell me that he would not campaign for the same-sex marriage issue if it got on the ballot in Ohio. He would not be their spokesman or participate in their campaign."

But Burress says Portman's comments on CNN seemed to contradict what the senator told him.

"Now I'm seeing some of his remarks that he gave the news last night about repealing DOMA, and it seems contrary to what he told me [in our conversation] last night,” says the traditional values advocate. “So I think he's a very troubled man right now. I think he's distraught over what's happening with his son."

Burress now wonders if Portman can be trusted on the pro-life issue as well. “If he had a daughter and she became pregnant, would he change his position on abortion, too?” he asks. “Because he told me last night that [he had not] changed his position on abortion or any other issue. You don’t change your mind on principled positions.”

And Burress says his political action committee cannot support Portman in light of his new position. "CCV has what we call non-negotiable issues; if you're wrong on any of these issues, we cannot support you for public office – and two of those issues are abortion and same-sex marriage,” he explains. “So therefore Rob cannot receive our endorsement for his next election."