gay marriage

Gay Marriage Stand Won't Cost Ohio GOP Senator His Seat
Portman begins to pull away in battleground state

Citing his college-age son, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman became the first Republican senator to back marriage equality. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced his decision to support marriage equality in March of 2013, he explained that his change of heart on the issue came after learning that his college-age son, Will, is gay. “It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that's of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have," Portman told local reporters.

The immediate question at the time was how the Ohio freshman senator’s reversal on gay marriage would affect his re-election chances in 2016. Running in the battleground state of Ohio would guarantee a close race no matter what. Going it alone as the first Republican senator ever to support marriage equality meant Portman could be risking his seat, if not his career.

How Democrats Came Around on Gay Rights
The party — and its candidates — have evolved in just 4 years

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney claps as LGBT rights activist Sarah McBride, the first transgender person to address a national convention, addresses the crowd in Philadelphia on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — No issue has elicited greater cheers from inside the convention hall this week than gay rights.  

But it hasn't always been that way.  

Democrats Set for Wider Embrace of LGBT Rights in Rebuke to Trump
Comments by GOP presidential nominee may 'fire up' opposition

Democrats are expected to denounce Donald Trump's attempts to reach out to LGBT voters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Gay rights — and the Republican Party's complicated relationship with the issue — is likely play a prominent role at this week's Democratic National Convention, with Donald Trump's stated embrace of the "LGBTQ community" still lingering in the air.  

"I expect Democratic leaders to directly denounce his veiled attempt to suggest he's anything but an enemy of LGBT rights," said Eric Stern, the director of LGBT outreach for the Democratic National Committee during the 2004 presidential campaign. "It's firing people up, both people who are members of the community, and allies of the community. It's engaging us like never before."  

Ted Cruz Slams SCOTUS on Gay Marriage: 'Tragic and Indefensible'

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:49 p.m. | While most Republicans shied away from commenting Monday on the Supreme Court's historic decision to let stand a slew of lower court rulings legalizing gay marriage, Sen. Ted Cruz torched the court's decision.  

The Texas Republican called the decision "tragic and indefensible" and said he would introduce a constitutional amendment that would ensure states can ban gay marriage.  

Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee Diverge on Gay Marriage's Fate in Court

Hatch, right, and Lee see the fate of gay marriage in the courts differently. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A former Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is calling legal gay marriage inevitable, while his home-state colleague is not so sure.  

"Lets face it. Anybody that does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn't been observing what's going on," Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, told KSL radio on Wednesday. "The trend right now in the courts is to permit gay marriage and anybody who doesn't admit that just isn't living in the real world."