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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. @Jones: But what was the younger Salmon trying to achieve with the interview? What was HE trying to communicate? Are you suggesting that he is intentionally speaking against GBLT? He does not seem to be a very effective communicator in that regard.

    Posted by: Doo Da. | Apr 8, 2013 9:47:02 PM

  2. He makes a good point that it took him man years to be comfortable with himself and doesn't expect everyone else to do so overnight. I couldn't agree more, but he needs to understand that they are still some way off.

    His parents have clearly evolved to allow him to even live amongst their family and be gay. That only shows the place of immense hatred they came from that THIS is an acceptable point in their evolution (in his opinion).

    He still craves their love so much that he's happy to be their show pony and further their political careers. They obviously think it's still a phase and are expecting him to grow out of it in time. Meanwhile, milk it for all its worth.

    Sad for him, disgusted with the parents. Hopefully he gains some more confidence and builds a life of his own outside of their hatred. One that allows him to be happy with himself and to be a present part of the family he wants to have.

    Posted by: Isaak | Apr 8, 2013 9:55:33 PM

  3. @ Cecilfirefox: "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."

    Bullshi†. You don't know what fair is. He's using televised public appearances to work as an apologist for the very aggressors you named. He attempts to thwart our case against people like his dad and he gives bigots credibility that they could not get elsewhere. The credibility he bestows on anti-gay hatred spreads the appeal of bigotry to people who would otherwise reject it. Not only is it _fair_ to excoriate and expose him for the morally defective coward he is, it is _necessary_ if we are to counter the damage he's doing.

    Unfair would be to drag him into the fight against his will. He took to the TV of his own accord.

    Posted by: JJ | Apr 8, 2013 10:00:52 PM

  4. This is like straight people who say , "I have gay friends, I just don't support "special rights"". Well, you may well have gay friends, but they don't have a friend in you.

    Matt R Salmon - You are an idiot. You are too old to get a pass on this.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 8, 2013 10:05:43 PM

  5. I doubt Lawrence O'Donnell and Piers Morgan canceled their interviews with him because it wouldn't be *controversial* enough. That he is gay and doesn't blame his father for his anti-gay stances is interesting in itself. They probably canceled because they figured out in the pre-interview that he is dull dull dull.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 8, 2013 10:14:06 PM

  6. @Doo da

    Who besides Matt can know what his motivations are? My personal opinion is that I think he's still doing anything he can to get his father's approval, and that he sees the LGBT struggle from a small personal perspective. I can speculate that there might have been pressure from someone for election damage control, but that's just speculation. This interview wasn't in his control ... he is just a convenient tool for divisive commentary. I agree with you that his responses were measured at best and not the most articulate. None of his responses seemed to be first thoughts.

    Most every commenter here, including myself, expressed how sad his situation seemed. More than anything else for his sake I think it's important that he gets the message that he has a support system outside his immediate family.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 8, 2013 10:19:43 PM

  7. I find it hard to fault him for loving his father, wanting his father's love, and having a desire to hang in there and keep the relationship. I don't think that upping the ante with ultimatums and confrontation would work, either as a political tactic, or as an esteem-builder for himself. He's done the important work of coming out to himself, his family, and the world, and not backing down on that, even in the face of all this negativity from church and family. It's actually courageous to continue to find a way to stay connected to his family, and in the long run, it's nore likely to cause them to evolve their views.

    His situation is that of most young gay people, and therefore that of the community itself, in relation to the straight world. There is often love in our family relationships, but there is also often a serious lack of acceptance and understanding. In the face of conflict, maintaining some relationship, if possible, without fundamentally abandoning your own knowledge of who you are, is actually the wisest course.

    He's really young, barely beginning to separate from his family at all. In time, he will probably be able to express more anger towards them, and be able to be more assertive with them about gay political issues. And they may become more able to meet him half way.

    This kid is already a powerful activist. He's not caving. How many of the commenters trashing him were out on national TV at age 24?

    Posted by: Hank | Apr 8, 2013 10:28:00 PM

  8. @JONES great comment! I too was puzzled by the way the interviewer completely ignored the whole problem of reparative therapy like it was the most normal thing in the world that gay boys raised in a Mormon family undergo reparative therapy to "cure" their "gayness". And he showed no interest (and compassion) in what this did to him and to his mind/soul.

    Posted by: Peter M. | Apr 8, 2013 10:47:11 PM

  9. "…he doesn't support gay marriage, but that doesn't make him a bigot at all."

    First, Congressman Salmon doesn't simply "fail to support" marriage equality, but actively opposes it.

    Second, yes, it does. Opposing the full civil rights of a minority makes you a bigot.

    Posted by: Bryan | Apr 8, 2013 10:51:37 PM

  10. Along the lines of Hedda...

    Poor thing. Srsly. He seems kinda brain impaired.

    Posted by: PixelWizard | Apr 8, 2013 11:03:43 PM

  11. Can we say "Stockholm Syndrome" boys and girls?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 8, 2013 11:08:45 PM

  12. Andy / Sam

    Is there any way you can reach out to Matt to do a better interview ?

    Reparative therapy ... really conversion therapy. It breaks my heart that anybody would have to be subjected to that kind of trauma.

    Something for Matt to consider ... when conversion therapy became to horrible for you to continue you could quit, you were old enough. Place yourself in that same circumstance if you were 12 - 17 years old and couldn't quit. Thats what people like your father are responsible for ... and that's just a tiny part of the horror of the bigger picture.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 8, 2013 11:19:36 PM

  13. What can "we" possibly add? He went on TV with the intention of proving "us" wrong and only ended up proving all of "us" right.

    Your father is a bigot. His lack of a heart has caused you to never develop a spine, and neither of you have brains.

    This is sad sad sad sad sad. It's because of men like Salmon Sr. that Rob Portman's act of, you know, deciding that his son should be treated like anyone else was seen as a "milestone" - finally, a republican who made the great mental leap to being a halfway decent human being. because when dealing with republicans you need to lower your standards and your expectations. because what you're dealing with is a whole lot of Salmon.

    At some point Matt Salmon is going to have to take a good hard look at reality - how well has your way of doing things worked for you, eh? swung hard to the Right, and yet daddy still doesn't accept you. defended your dad not accepting you and pretended the problem was "the intolerant gay community" - well, that didn't work either.

    maybe we gay liberals are onto something. when you refuse to be a doormat you don't get treated like one. like janis ian, i learned the truth at 17. ;-)

    feel free to learn it yourself, Salmon. Or continue more wasted decades trying to get blood from a stone.

    but now, he doesn't love you unconditionally and he is a bigot. and the sooner you realize it, and CALL HIM ON IT, the sooner you, and the countless other GOP and Mormon families going through your particular brand of nonsense, can actually start being decent, productive, and worthy members of society.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 8, 2013 11:31:37 PM

  14. First off--he needs to learn how to properly tie a necktie. Then he'd look more like a grown-up. Acting like one--that comes later.

    Also, third year medical student--I think the ties he doesn't want to jeopardize are financial as well. Daddy might cut off funding if he were to rebel.

    So aside from the self-hating, there are probably practical reasons to give Daddy cover on this.

    Posted by: kdknyc | Apr 8, 2013 11:34:08 PM

  15. i have a question for guys like Matt, and the apologists on here:

    if every time you saw your dad he slapped you in the face, what would you do?

    would you say something? would you keep showing up every sunday?

    because it's actually no different from this pathetic non-love Salmon Sr. is dishing out. It's not love - it's conditional *almost*-tolerance.

    so, why are gay apologists the ones the ones sayign "oh, well, i can accept his bigotry. i'll just let him think lesser of me so i can save the relationship"? WHY?

    WAKE UP - your family doesn't respect you enough, or love you enough, to do their own damn work to "save the relationship"

    people brought up like Salmon jr all too often think that when you come out it's all about "getting your family to accept you as gay" - hi, your family are bigoted. it's about you letting them know that you can't, and will not, make room in your life for people who cannot love you, accept you, and celebrate you for who you are.

    your family will never change when you act like someone unworthy of respect, who doesn't respect themselves, and tiptoe around their "issues" so as not to disturb. your family doesn't care that they're hurting you - and the sooner you realize it the sooner you can do something to change it, because change rarely if ever comes without a galvanizing force.

    for the love of GOD, Matt and Others, rent Torch Song Trilogy and commit Harvey Fierstein's final showdown with Anne Bancroft to memory - those words are the key to you finally taking charge of your lives.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 8, 2013 11:40:26 PM

  16. This just might be the most disgusting example of self-hate I've ever seen. Matt may be the son of a congressman but he's no kid...yet he's acting like a pathetic shred of a man. gotta grow some balls and man-up. It's a fact...your dad is a disgrace to you, your family, and to our nation. Your father needs to be removed from the house, and you're the one to lead the charge.

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 8, 2013 11:40:34 PM

  17. Stockholm Syndrome

    Posted by: TooBoot | Apr 9, 2013 12:25:52 AM

  18. No, Matt. That's exactly what it means. Bless your heart.

    Posted by: the milkman | Apr 9, 2013 12:31:26 AM

  19. Alight... I know I'm comment 68 or 69, and will NEVER be read, but here it goes... I read about this young man, and I see myself, my own rational for my own mormon parents, and their own beliefs... and my tolerance of their "Loving the sinner, but hating the sin". If tolerance is one sided, as it is in Matts life... as it has been in my life, there really isn't any chance for understanding or true acceptance. It's a slow decline to decay. A cavity that one day will need to come out. Mine is still festering. There is little left to save. I don't have answers that are not sh**ty. I do know that this kind of tolerance does NOT work. Congressman Solaman really should get a backbone and lead, and do the right thing for his son, and the rest of humanity. We all deserve equal treatment.

    Posted by: Louis | Apr 9, 2013 12:47:47 AM

  20. He can defend his dad's opinion as his dad's entitlement but the fact that he had to undergo "reparative therapy" DOES make his father a bigot. Reparative my a**.

    Posted by: Homer | Apr 9, 2013 12:48:41 AM

  21. I was somewhat supportive of him at first because I'm by far the favorite among 5 sons of my very conservative father and came out when I was 14, nearly 30 years ago. But this kid is delusional. He'll wise up.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 9, 2013 1:03:46 AM

  22. I think Matt needs to love himself more.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 9, 2013 1:30:44 AM

  23. wouldn't want to be in Matt jr.'s shoes. he grew up with extreme bigots who fed him serious bs. its surprising that he's as ok as he appears to be. what a message we love you and would do anything for you just get rid of that disgusting piece of you that we can't stand and everything's good. how did he get through undergrad as a psychology major and now med student and not see how sick this.

    Posted by: mark | Apr 9, 2013 1:35:51 AM

  24. LOL - this is the most ridiculous interview I've ever seen.

    Posted by: Tre | Apr 9, 2013 1:41:30 AM

  25. What a shame.... a child brainwashed against himself....

    so sad...and pathetic...

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Apr 9, 2013 1:43:22 AM

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