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New gay marriage backer Portman speaks to Ohio GOP

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HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio says he hasn't heard much criticism since he announced his support for gay marriage.

Portman was the featured speaker Saturday at the Butler County GOP's Lincoln Day dinner. The Republican-dominated county north of Cincinnati is home to House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur), who repeated his opposition to same-sex marriage after Portman's reversal on the issue.

Portman told reporters this month that he began changing his views in 2011 when his college-age son Will told his parents he was gay.

He tells The Cincinnati Enquirer that Saturday's crowd was split on their views of same-sex marriage but everyone was "very respectful."

Portman says the top issues for most Republicans are the economy and overspending in Washington, not gay marriage.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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