Republican congresswoman: I backed LGBT equality after my son came out as trans

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A Florida Republican says she made a U-turn on LGBT rights after her own child came out as transgender.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – who originally voted for the Defence of Marriage Act banning same-sex marriage federally – was later the only member of her party to vote to repeal the measure, and is also the only Republican in the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

She cites her transgender son, Rodrigo Lehtinen, as her inspiration for changing her views.

The Republican told CBS: “As parents, we wanted Rodrigo to understand that we’re totally fine with it. He’s our son, we’re proud of him.”

She told other parents: “Don’t freak out, stay calm and don’t be afraid.

“Love your child because that person is your child whether it’s the person you wanted him or her to be or not.

“That’s my advice to parents: Never, never reject your child. That’s unconditional love no matter what.”

Mr Lehen said: “I have full confidence she would have come to these pro-LGBT opinions whether I happen to be transgender or not.

“I think she’s genuinely a good person, she may be Republican and I may not be, but she cares about people enough and the tide of history is going so much in that direction.”