Anderson Cooper | Matt Salmon | News

Gay Son of Rep. Matt Salmon Talks to Anderson Cooper About Loving Parents Who Don't Believe in His Equality: VIDEO


Matt R. Salmon, the gay son of Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), sat down with Anderson Cooper last night to talk about his father, who has spoken publicly of his opposition to same-sex marriage, and his mother, who worked on an anti-gay constitutional amendment in Arizona, about his love for them.

AcSaid Salmon:

"I finally realized that no matter what our differences and opinions are, we have to love and support each other. And since then, our relationship has really grown stronger. And I've watched as my dad has just really been a huge supporter of me....Yes, he doesn't support gay marriage, but that's no reason that I shouldn't love him, or just accept him for who he is. I hope that he changes his position" on marriage rights for same-sex couples."


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  1. Unconditional love goes both ways. I certainly don't agree with his parents, or the path they have taken but if he simply gives up and walks away nothing will ever change. I was lucky, my parents accepted my being gay with no problem but I know many people that went through a lot of struggle before they reached a point where the relationship was repaired. Family is important and walking away should be a last resort. This family has gone from wanting him "fixed" to accepting him, at least so he doesn't feel totally outcast. That is movement. It's very easy to say choose your loved one over your belief but I see little in the comments above that show any willingness to choose yours over your beliefs. Equality is something that we all must have, but it has never been something that was easy for everyone just because it's right and obvious to us. We should see some positive when there is movement in our direction and not just horror at the fact that someone did not simply flip to our point of view. In equality and in family these things move one step at a time for many people. If they are stepping in the right direction we should not abandon all hope for them. Support is a 2 way street.

    Posted by: Brad S | Apr 13, 2013 11:28:04 AM

  2. His response to Anderson's last question says it all: He has never introduced a partner to his family. When that happens, his family's supposed "support" of him will show its true face. Like so many families, they tolerate the *notion* of his gayness as long as the *actuality* of it (a partner, a social contract) remains hidden. His relationship with his family is a sad sexual minstrel show.

    Posted by: VSo | Apr 13, 2013 11:31:35 AM

  3. @MichaelJ 'He is merely stating that in order to have any sort of relationship with his parents, he is going to have to accept that they are not pro-gay'

    This isn't what he's saying at all.

    Their being 'pro-gay' doesn't enter in to the discussion ever. Not being pro-gay is a far cry from being actively anti gay.

    He's claiming that they're not 'anti gay' that his father isn't a bigot ... on local and now national TV interviews.

    Send their gay son for conversion therapy, make legislation against gay civil rights and that same said son goes on interviews defending them and claiming that they're not anti gay. Doesn't get a pass for that with me.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 13, 2013 11:41:41 AM

  4. My family rejected me for being gay based on religion. But they would never have asked me to change.[Although the whole issue would have dropped the minute I became involved with a woman.] I think it's a big difference. The notion that you have the right to tell someone who they have to be in such an important aspect of one's person. Matt has to find his way through that because it's a serious, discordant and dysfunctional aspect of his up-bringing. And he will pay a price for not standing against it.
    Anderson Cooper - dude - the guy's in medical school - ask him questions about the established medical understanding of his parents' attitude, reparative therapy, etc. Stop being such a pussy.

    Posted by: Markt | Apr 13, 2013 11:45:28 AM

  5. I wanted Anderson to ask him what "support each other" meant to him. And I would love for him to interview the parents. I would like to know if they regret the conversion therapy they put him through.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 13, 2013 11:50:01 AM

  6. Why are we giving attention to this little self-loathing Mormon who has had about two seconds of real life experience and, as far as I can tell, has yet to find a partner whom he expects to submit to being treated like an outcast.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Apr 13, 2013 11:51:13 AM

  7. I found this painful to watch although I believe the young man is being honest with Anderson. He's young enough to still be forming his own ideas and he's miles ahead of where I was at his age. He needs the love & support of the gay community and our willingness to accept him wholeheartedly right where he is on his journey. We all arrive at different times and we all need to embrace each other along the way. I watch the other side tear each other up and hope we never sound like that to our own brothers & sisters. We're better than that.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 13, 2013 12:06:32 PM

  8. Pathetic, if they don't support you having equal rights to them as citizens of this country than they don't support you period. If he's crazy enough to think those small minded bigots he has for parents would welcome him bringing someone home for them to meet he's even more delusional than he seems, additionally if he cared for that person he wouldn't subject them to it. Very sad.

    Posted by: joel | Apr 13, 2013 12:07:13 PM

  9. While agreeing that the interview did not dig deep, I think doing so would have been cruel to this young guy who is clearly carrying (burying) a lot of pain. For anyone sensitive enough to see that, it is hardly necessary to destroy the kid on someone else's schedule...he has every right to work it out in his own time and it seems he is on the path.

    That said, I think it would be great to have some of the issues raised in these comments as follow up commentary-- a "we must ask...." editorial style commentary could weave the threads and place this story in a helpful context.

    Posted by: JoelD | Apr 13, 2013 12:12:39 PM

  10. What I don't understand why he is going on to these programs and trying to "share" with us all just how F'd up his family is.

    He can hold whatever sad opinion he wants, after all it is his mother and father we;re talking about but why tell us about that.

    I also find it stunning that he says, "I didn't plan on being gay so the anti-gay bill mom was working didn't bother me".

    The GOP is all the same, as long as it doesn't effect me or my family let em suffer!

    Posted by: Ray | Apr 13, 2013 12:13:20 PM

  11. The perks for this GOProubot to 'go with the flow' is that he will not be disenherited. Ka-ching, that's what counts most!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Apr 13, 2013 12:16:23 PM

  12. A parent can certainly love his or her gay son unconditionally and still be opposed to same-sex marriage. Marriage is not a fundamental right and not essential to having a full life if you are gay (and 98% of gay people will never marry, even when it does become universally legal).

    Just as parents can love a son or daughter unconditionally and dislike certain aspects of their behavior or personality or their chosen spouses or some of their interests or a gazillion other things about them.

    And it works both ways. How many of us are dislike a whole bunch of things about one or both of our parents, but still love them, simply because they are our parents? Practically all of us.

    Politics does not define life. One doesn't reject one's child or one's parent simply because they don't see eye to eye with you on everything.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 13, 2013 12:17:28 PM

  13. Hope he gets lots of dates from this interview. He's hot. Wonder what his grindr handle is? That being said, I hope he gets away and continues to evolve and perhaps his parents will play catch up with him. He and his parents seem to be mirroring each other, in terms of "love and support", but he's always going to be on the losing side, until the Mormon church accepts gays. Then his parents will do a quick turn around. Sad, how churches screw things up. I wonder if he is still a Mormon? I wonder if his missionary service opened up his mind a little. The bottom line is, his dad will vote against marriage equality, his mom will continue to write anti-gay policy, and he will have to deal with parents whom he can't trust or confide in, only 'understand' their position, in hopes (most likely futile) that they will come to see what a great person he is. Nope. He's a homo, the new "Mark of Cain" in the Mormon Church.

    Posted by: kodiak | Apr 13, 2013 12:17:32 PM

  14. jeez, to have both your mother and father working against you.

    Posted by: drew | Apr 13, 2013 12:17:56 PM

  15. Another embarrassing politicain from Arizona. Mesa mormon trash.

    Posted by: Bighairizona | Apr 13, 2013 12:37:07 PM

  16. Some of you won't be happy until he is just as estranged from his family as you are yours. That's what this is really about. Families are supposed to accept each others flaws, idiosyncrasies and hang-up's. Parents do not have to like everything their adult children do, they just have to do the best they can to get along if they want their children in their lives, and from the looks of it, they're doing just that. I know people dont want to hear this, because of he anti-religion views on blog, but...the fact that this mormon kid was not excommunicated to the point where he was completely shunned by the family/community is actually a credit to his family. If they were truly the bigots that everyone claims, they would all openly hate and shun each other.

    Posted by: LCR Jay | Apr 13, 2013 12:45:15 PM

  17. Oh, the damage that the evil myth of internalized heterosexual-supremacy wreaks!

    Posted by: Two HusbandsSince1976 | Apr 13, 2013 1:00:48 PM

  18. Meant to say "0h the damage wreaked by internalizing the evil myth of heterosexual-supremacy!"

    Posted by: Two HusbandsSince1976 | Apr 13, 2013 1:03:04 PM

  19. @LCR Jay

    They sent their son to conversion therapy.
    Is this what you equate to doing 'their best to get along' ?

    His mother was president of the group that wrote the AZ amendment to constitutionally ban gay marriage and she fu**ing asked him to help edit it.

    He loves them so much that he's blind to how harmful that are to him specifically and society at large.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 13, 2013 1:04:32 PM

  20. it's a very sad and even more extreme version of the way GOProud convinces themselves that they too are loved and accepted.

    when your treatment by your own family has been so awful, you end up thinking that a change to a pitiful level of almost-tolerance is GOOD. but it's not actually GOOD. it just seems that way compared to ...well.

    here's the thing - stop comparing your father, Matt, to worse parents and start comparing him to better ones.

    so far, for a "relationship" to exist matt jr needs to cater to his father's prejudices. what's dad doing to make his son feel more welcome? for now, it just seems like he's simply eased off from the appalling mental abuse of previous years.

    and that is blood sad.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 13, 2013 1:13:46 PM

  21. @LCR Jay :
    I'm not estranged from any of my family.
    But "flaws, idiosyncrasies, hang-ups " ???

    I do not put being gay into any of these categories.
    I call it being perfectly normal.
    Just as being straight is perfectly normal.

    And not excommunicating him is something he should be grateful for and/or it is "a credit to his family" ?
    Seriously ?
    Are you seriously posting that kind of garbage here ?
    He should be grateful for the "reparative therapy" too I guess ?

    You sing a lovely poem, Alice, but what does it mean ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 13, 2013 1:13:58 PM

  22. michaelj,
    I really appreciate the tone of your posting.
    Especially as I disagree, totally.
    Silence=Death has been the only thing which has brought us the pitiful few rights we now (sort of) have in this country.
    We are not yet at the point at which we can play deeply rooted psychologically sound long-range games with bigots.

    Posted by: enough already | Apr 13, 2013 1:16:11 PM

  23. as for "love" - i was always raised to feel that love meant you do whatever you can to make life better for the person you "love" - and that is simply not what Salmon Jr.'s family is doing. at all.

    the sad thing is, Jr. doesn't trust his family's "love" enough to make this an issue - this is, in every way, a father choosing prejudice, bigotry and the opinions of "others" over his own son.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 13, 2013 1:18:13 PM

  24. the use of words indicates the delusion he needs to comfort himself about this whole situation: "difference of opinion" - this is not a difference of opinion. in any way.

    pretending it's a difference of opinion is a generalizing way to avoid the specifics of what is so unloving and tragic about this - we have a dad that tolerates his own kind on the condition that his kid remain...and let's be real here... in fear of losing his dad's "love"

    Dad, you'll notice, doesn't worry one bit about losing the love and respect of his son.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 13, 2013 1:25:41 PM

  25. definitive proof - RICK defends the father and the relationship. thanks RICK, for proving that your cowardice and internalized homophobia are a result of you not only being raised by lousy failures of parents like the Salmons, but your own spineless inability to stand up to them. truly. thanks for finally making it more obvious than before that you're the product of a hateful home.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 13, 2013 1:28:15 PM

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