Boehner "can't imagine" having a gay child would change his position on same-sex marriage

In an interview with ABC News, the House Speaker remained adamant that marriage "is a union of a man and a woman”

Published March 17, 2013 1:56PM (EDT)

                      (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

In an interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC's "This Week," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he "can't imagine" that having a gay child would change his position against marriage equality.

Responding to a question from Raddatz about Sen. Rob Portman's (R-OH) change of heart following the revelation that his own son was gay, Boehner said that he could appreciate his close friend's decision but remained adamant that marriage "is a union of a man and a woman”:

MARTHA RADDATZ (HOST): Can you imagine yourself in a situation where you reversed your decision as Portman has on gay marriage if a child of yours or someone you love told you they were gay.

BOEHNER: Listen, I believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It’s what I grew up with, it’s what i belive, it’s what my church teaches me and I can’t imagine that position would ever change.

Boehner may think his views can't be changed, but personal experience with gay relatives, friends and colleagues has inspired many of his Republican colleagues to reverse course on marriage equality.

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, people with a family member or close friend who is gay are more than twice as likely to support gay marriage than those who do not.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Gay Marriage John Boehner Marriage Equality R-ohio Republican Party Same-sex Marriage Video