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Gay Son of Congressman Matt Salmon Talks About His Father, Who Opposes Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO


Matt R. Salmon, the son of Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), talks about his father and his father's public opposition of marriage equality, with KPNX.

Said Salmon: "It's hard for me to understand that people will jump to the conclusion that he's anti-gay, he's a bigot. When really, yeah he doesn't support gay marriage, but that doesn't make him a bigot at all."

Salmon also reveals that he was in 'reparative therapy' and the hardest moment he had in his relationship with his father was when he decided to stop doing it:

"It was probably while I was in college, at ASU, and I had just decided that I was no longer going to do reparative therapy, and it was hard for him. We still had a loving relationship but it was difficult for him to accept."


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  1. There is MUCH MORE to this story. This is NOT just about his father opposing same-sex marriage -- it's about his father believing (and telling him -- see below) that being gay is not normal, that he has to keep his boyfriend away from family events, etc. So even if he can argue that his father is not a bigot for opposing same-sex marriage, he can't escape other things his father has said and done.

    OK, everyone needs to read the Phoenix New Times (PNT) article from Sept 16, 2010 called "Over the Rainbow" regarding the terrible things (apart from marriage!) that his parents have done to him. It's available online - Google it. You will see that this is a young man who really still cannot accept who he is, regardless of what he now says about himself, and he is desperately still seeking his family's approval. From the Phoenix New Times (PNT) article:

    1) When he started dating Kent Flake (2nd cousin of Sen. Jeff Flake), and his parents met Kent, he told PNT "They think he's an awesome person. They just don't like me being in a gay relationship. They don't like that we're together." And also "You're fine, we love you, but your partner's not welcome because we don't want gay around us". SO THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MARRIAGE - his family did not even want him in any gay relationship and did not allow him to bring his partner to their home.

    2) His mother led the local chapter of United Families First, which tried to pass a law in AZ that would outlaw same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. As the PNT article points out, the son VOTED FOR this anti-gay law in 2006 (but apparently changed his mind when another anti-gay law came up in 2007).

    3) In the PNT article, he admits that he went to "reparative therapy" to turn him straight -- but it didn't work. He doesn't condemn it, but only seems wistful that it really didn't change him.

    4) As for his father's anti-gay voting record, he said "It really doesn't hurt me" and "I'm not offended at all". REALLY? As a gay person, you are not "hurt" or "offended" by your father's anti-gay votes? So do the anti-gay votes of others also not "hurt" or "offend" him?

    5) Finally, there is a recent news story where the father says he loves his son unconditionally and would "do anything" for his son. Really, you will "do anything", but you won't let him bring a partner to family events and you won't accept that his sexuality is just as "right" as your own? What a bunch of BS.

    Anyway, read the PNT article. This is a very, very pitiful situation.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Apr 8, 2013 8:07:26 PM

  2. What a sad sad case. Loving parents want everything for their children. But Salmon believes his son is only worthy of a few crumbs.

    Posted by: Chiedu | Apr 8, 2013 8:08:53 PM

  3. Okay, sweetie - Your dad isn't a bigot.

    But for your own sense of self-worth and dignity, own who you are!!

    Tell him you will love him for ever but until he can come to love you as you are, the way you love him...

    He has no business in your life. Sucks... But your need to keep his love is going to ruin you as a developing person.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 8, 2013 8:16:12 PM

  4. It's very easy to lambast the son in this instance- and in some sense for good reason. He is being an aplogist, but let's be honest- his dad won't change overnight, and he's the only father he'll have. It's not really fair to ask him to cut him off or throw the gauntlet down in public.

    But make no mistake- if his father supports his son being in reparative therapy, ideally would still like him to presently be in reparative therapy, and genuinely does believe his son is broken, afflicted, diseased, or somehow 'wrong' then well... Sorry kiddo, that's not really love. It's not an attack on you or him- but can we stop pretending that we can discount all this stuff as long as people act 'kind'??

    Kind people spreading poison, make no mistake, are still just kind people spreading poison.

    Posted by: Cecilfirefox | Apr 8, 2013 8:18:54 PM

  5. This is sad on sooo many levels.

    Matt can't see the bigger picture of the damage his father's bigoted actions have done to both him personally and the the LGBT community at large.

    He votes against civil rights for gays and sends his gay son for conversion therapy ... but he's not anti-gay. Really Matt ?

    You say you want to have a marriage and a family someday ... how's that gonna happen Matt ? You refuse to stand up and be counted with the very ones who are trying to make that be possible. Time to stop living in a vacume Matt.

    Let him know that you love him but STOP defending his attacks on the LGBT community of which you are a member.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 8, 2013 8:22:27 PM

  6. One word: MORON

    Posted by: Rick Garcia | Apr 8, 2013 8:27:30 PM

  7. That was incredibly sad to watch. Talk about damaged. Yikes.

    Posted by: Lance | Apr 8, 2013 8:33:12 PM

  8. The father says, "I love you unconditionally but can't accept your sexual behavior." Matt, the logical response is, "Dad, I love you unconditionally. I hate your bigoted politics. You have judged my life and potential partners and found us wanting. I have judged your religious bigotry and found you wanting." See, no harm, no foul.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Apr 8, 2013 8:38:17 PM

  9. "but that doesn't make him a bigot at all."

    Yes it does.

    Posted by: RMc | Apr 8, 2013 8:41:35 PM

  10. On a certain level, this guy has still not accepted his sexuality. It saddens me that he supports his father, even though his father does not support his equal rights.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 8, 2013 8:41:38 PM

  11. Unbelievable!

    This guys is so brainwashed he doesn't know which way to turn. It's really sad. His only support is coming from the 2 anti-gay bigoted parents (FYI: Both Mom and Dad are involved in anti-gay politics) that "love" him???

    It's pretty easy to predict that this is not going to end well.

    Posted by: Will | Apr 8, 2013 8:43:15 PM

  12. Poor sad, brainwashed little Mormon boy. Honey, your "religion" was pulled out of a convicted con-man's @ss less than 200 years ago so he could make money and f*ck, oh I mean "MARRY," multiple young women.

    Wake up!

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 8, 2013 8:45:05 PM

  13. I don't get the point of his appearance, or what if any message he had to impart. This sounded more like a therapy session (I,me, feel, want) than him having any larger message of social import to share.

    Posted by: Doo Da. | Apr 8, 2013 8:46:49 PM

  14. Folks, I get the criticism here, and truthfully it's valid- which is a great deal of why Matt won't publicly engage it point for point and instead only refers to the issue generically.

    But, really, I think he's fine with his sexuality- he's just got a complicated parental relationship. Yes, he's an apologist, and yes, he's actually wrong about his father on the hate front- unless he has had evolutions on the issue he's not disclosing, but the son knows.

    It's not fair for Matt that we use him, and his family, as the means with which to take out our aggression, anger, and hurt that Christians and Mormon's have inflicted on us.

    I think Doo Da made the most important observation- what is his point in these public interviews? He's not really engaging the material, it's very vague, it has no real large cohesive message, etc. And, frankly, he doesn't look particularly great coming out of them.

    Posted by: Cecilfirefox | Apr 8, 2013 8:51:41 PM

  15. Talk about damaged goods. I feel sad for this young man. It's hard to admit that your father is bigot, but he's perspective is so skewed that it's hard for him to actually see the truth.

    My grandparents were racists. I still loved them, but I'd never deny the fact that they were bigots or defend their actions. Hopefully, one day this young man will be able to reconcile the love for his father without denying the truth of the matter.

    Posted by: JT | Apr 8, 2013 8:51:45 PM

  16. His remarkds are not unreasonable. He is also very cute.

    Posted by: Justin | Apr 8, 2013 8:53:35 PM

  17. "We still had a loving relationship but it was difficult for him to accept."

    Honey. He loves oyu as much as he can.

    he just doesn't love you very much.

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | Apr 8, 2013 8:54:11 PM

  18. Sad to say but the points people here tried to make are the same ones his ex-boyfriend Kent Flake tried to make for him.
    Sad to say,he didn't listen and Kent had to move on.
    Really is a shame. Either he'll spend the rest of his life trying to get full love from people who aren't willing to give it or he'll wake up and realize what he lost in his boyfriend and the years he spent denying who he is.

    Posted by: Kevin | Apr 8, 2013 8:58:27 PM

  19. Face it kid, your dad's a bigot. Sorry.

    Posted by: Ken | Apr 8, 2013 9:14:38 PM

  20. Poor kid, it’s hard to bite the hand that raised you but sometimes you just have to man up and admit my dad was wrong, we’ve all done it at some time or other for various reasons, guess what kids, parents are human and make mistakes and on many occasions are wrong. You’re not a child anymore; you should know this and accept it as a fact of life.

    Also being raised in one of the most successful 19th century American cults based on the ravings of a polygamist loon is hard as well.

    Posted by: NE Rich | Apr 8, 2013 9:16:27 PM

  21. "He opposes gay marriage and sends his gay son off for reparative therapy. Yep sure doesn't sound like a bigot to me!" I couldn't have said it better, Remote Patrolled.

    Posted by: | Apr 8, 2013 9:25:56 PM

  22. Let's hope his son will get him to slowly come around -

    Posted by: tiko | Apr 8, 2013 9:31:47 PM

    -- over their mormon community, which would largely ostracize them if they let him actually be Bay at family events, etc.
    -- and over their OWN INTERESTS and status. The father would lose mormon support, and they would pick another mormon to run for his seat.

    I THINK THE SON OUGHT TO BURN DOWN THEIR HOUSE -- but he has not called and asked me for suggestions

    Posted by: Bob | Apr 8, 2013 9:34:58 PM

  24. @Doo da & Cecil

    The purpose for this interview was to use Matt to portray the LGBT community as hateful for calling Sen Salmon out as a bigot and to further spread the meme that just because you're against gay marriage doesn't mean you're a bigot. How perfectly this fits when the Senators own gay son doesn't see him that way don't you know. Why two other interviews were cancelled because he wouldn't go along with teh gays and condemn either his fathers voting record or the fact that he sent his own son for reparative therapy.

    It's presented this way because about half of the American viewing audience wants to hear just exactly this kind of pablum ... ask Fox News.

    There's no compassion given to the potential damage done to Matt nor one mention of the destructive consequences of reparative therapy to young teens. Why even go into that quagmire if you're the interviewer looking to portray the anti-gay forces as just people with a different viewpoint. To them it's not about our civil rights and our children's lives.

    And that is why forums like Towleroad are so very important. Articles and commentary here helps to diffuse and counter this type of media whitewashing.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 8, 2013 9:35:26 PM

  25. It's just sad. That's it. It's sad to see someone, one of our own, so delusional and brainwashed.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 8, 2013 9:44:17 PM

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