Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he did not support gay marriage despite having a gay son, drawing a sharp contrast to another elected Republican, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who came out for gay marriage after his son came out to him.
"I don't support gay marriage," Salmon told Phoenix station KTVK in an interview that aired Sunday. "My son and I have had a lot of dialogue about it. I will say this: you know, my son is by far one of the most important people in my life. I love him more than I can say."
Salmon said he didn't believe his son chose to be gay. A host then asked why he should be denied the right to marry if he didn't choose to be gay.
"My view is while I don't believe we should be vitriolic and try to enact harmful policies, by the same token, I'm just not there as far as believing in my heart that we should change 2,000 years of social policy in favor of a redefinition of the family," he responded.
"It just means that I haven't evolved to that station," he continued. "Rob Portman apparently has. I haven't."
Another Arizona Mormon, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he thought it was "inevitable" that a Republican presidential candidate would back gay marriage.
The Phoenix New Times reported in 2010 that Salmon's son, also named Matt, was in a relationship with and shared a home with Kent Flake, the senator's second cousin.