Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values Advised Sen. Rob Portman to Reject His Gay Son

U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican representing Ohio, announced earlier this week that he had changed his stance on same-sex marriage after his son, WIll, came out as gay. Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, says that he discussed the issue of gay marriage with Portman on Thursday evening and advised him to outright reject his son.

In an email sent out to supporters, Burress said that Portman called him Thursday night asking for advice on the issue. On Friday, Portman announced that he had reversed his position on the issue, crediting his son's recent coming out for his change of heart. Portman wrote:

"I believe all of our sons and daughters ought to have the same opportunity to experience the joy and stability of marriage."

Burress' organization led the campaign to approve Ohio's constitutional amendment that prevents the state from recognizing any relationship other than a heterosexual marriage. In his email, Burress says that he told Portman that he and his wife would pray for his son to become heterosexual.

Burress added:

"I explained to Rob that my wife and I served on the board of an organization that saw thousands of homosexual men and women walk away from that behavior, many who went on to a natural marriage and were also blessed with children. I told him we would pray that some day his son would as well.

Not every family would make the same decision Rob did. Many parents, because of their deep and abiding love for their child, would not accept and embrace their child's decision regarding homosexuality. My wife and I believe that if you love someone you tell them the truth. They may not like what they hear, but you love them anyway."