Senator Rob Portman recently discussed his evolving views on LGBT rights, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or ENDA, the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, and a few other issues like immigration reform.
Senator Portman reiterated his opposition to DOMA, but also noted that he is resistant to including same-sex couples in immigration reform. He has not said that he would oppose such a measure, but feels that it would be unnecessary to have such a provision in immigration reform in DOMA is overturned or struck down.
A decision on DOMA is expected from the US Supreme Court this June. Without its prohibition on federal recognition of same-sex couples, and they could easily get green cards based upon spousal status.
Portman, however, still believes that same-sex marriage should be granted legal recognition at the state level on a state-by-state basis.
With regards to ENDA, Portman is very supportive. He stated that “I totally support the concept. This is about discrimination in the workplace. And there should be no discrimination and there ought to be a law in place, in my view. The current version of ENDA that I’ve looked at, I have some concerns about. One, about the litigation that would result because it could be heavily litigated the way it is written.”
Portman also noted that he has some concerns regarding religious freedom and stated “Second is religious freedom, which is the point I’ve made all through this discussion on gay marriage as I’ve talked about it. I’m also a strong believer in religious freedom and I think an entity that has certain religious tenets should not be required to change those tenets because of this law or others. ENDA has traditionally addressed this issue and I’m sure they will.”
The current version of ENDA has a religious exemption in it.
With regards to the criticism of his decision to support same-sex marriage, Portman’s only reply was”Whatever.”
Here’s the whole thing from Buzzfeed: