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Empathy for Portman at CPAC, but Positions Remain Steadfast

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Santorum said Portman’s change of heart of the issue of gay marriage will not change his stance.

Friess, whose brother-in-law is gay, is focused on the threat of violence to gays in countries where Islamic Sharia law is upheld.

On Capitol Hill, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia quickly reaffirmed their previous positions on the issue.

Recently more than 80 Republicans signed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to support gay marriage rights when it hears back-to-back cases related to the issue this month. The move provoked anger among social conservatives leaders.

However, same-sex marriage opponents found another incident, a dust-up over remarks from Dan Cathy, the president of fast food chain Chick-fil-A, “incredibly reassuring,” Nance said.

In July 2012, same-sex marriage proponents organized boycotts of the chain because Cathy said in a radio interview that gay marriage was “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.” But then conservative politicians began organizing “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” in which supporters poured into restaurants nationwide, breaking sales records.

Santorum, Nance and others expressed sympathy for Portman’s situation.

“I’m really grieving for him. I think this is a difficult situation for any parent,” Nance said.

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