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

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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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Kiwi seems to know a lot about this family and how they will or won't evolve when Matt gets married, has kids, etc. All I purport to know is that they both, father and son, seem to love each other, and want to proceed in a way that is gracious and respectful even where they strongly disagree.

    As a citizen, I can and do condemn Rep. Salmon's anti-gay policies. But as a son, I can appreciate that this family is trying to work things out together -- rather than cutting themselves out of each other's lives.

    Posted by: Lars | Apr 9, 2013 12:28:38 PM


  2. Lars, i said what i said from more than a decade of actually doing "this kind of work" with countless families.

    Salmon Sr. will not change, as his son has given him no reason to do so.

    and they don't love each other. Jr wants dad's tolerance, and dad only tolerates him conditionally.

    the father is not being gracious or respectful, or loving. it's emotional abuse. and the kid laps it up. because of this, dad will have no reason to stop feeding.

    but don't make the mistake of thinking they love each other. they don't. that's not love, at all.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 9, 2013 12:36:36 PM


  3. If you can't see the genuine expressions of grace in this situation, then it makes me doubt whether you have ever experienced real grace :-/ You see the dad's love as being conditional, but condemn Matt for not imposing his own conditions.

    It is easier (and comes more naturally) to conduct our personal relationships through ultimata fueled by anger, but when we break free from that model and instead choose to build our lives on grace, our relationships become so much deeper and more fulfilling -- and frankly, more progressive. Progressive in the sense that through relationships people CHANGE. It appears to me that Matt and his dad are choosing the latter route. Far be it from me to condemn them for choosing a relationship over division and separation.

    As for your hubris in claiming they don't love each, I don't even feel the need to go there.

    Posted by: Lars | Apr 9, 2013 1:13:23 PM


  4. Love, loving in grace, hard love ... it's all subjective. How can we know ? It's all our personal opinions and we offer our advice to help as we can.

    What isn't an opinion is that Salmon Sr isn't a plumber or tradesman ... he is a US SENATOR that is actively participating in making laws for the nation that make LGBT Americans into second class citizens.

    For whatever reasons, Matt does an interview on TV that is used to rebut the voice that his father the Senator is a bigot and is anti gay.
    He needs to be made aware that his actions have consequences far beyond just his person. STOP defending him. STOP being used. STOP letting his prejudices define you.

    STOP helping him hurt others.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 9, 2013 2:30:15 PM


  5. yeah. i can't see the grace in the situation. yeah, i condemn matt for "not imposing his own conditions" - like demanding to be seen as an equal.

    demanding. not begging. you can want me to be wrong, but it won't make me wrong. i've been involved in this sort of thing, with other families, for more than a decade. what Jr is doing is allowing his dad's prejudices to go unchecked and unchallenged, thus daddy has no reason to come around.

    you wonder if i've ever experienced real grace? how about this - i've got a spine and people know that if they want to be a part of my life i have no room in it for those who see me as second class.

    when you're a person of worth that people want to keep in their lives, they tend to respond to that.

    but hey, what the heck would i know? my hubris and strident attitude has only resulted in me being the kind of gay man whose family and friends are visible and outspoken advocates for LGBT Equality, and Salmon Jr.'s has .....well..... there it is.

    I don't know, Lars, maybe you grew up thinking that what the Salmon's share is called Love. i grew up thinking that it's abuse.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 9, 2013 2:44:50 PM


  6. would you want a relationship with someone who hits you in the face every time you see them?

    why then are some of you falling over yourselves to defend "havign a relationship" with someone who drives a dagger into your heart?

    some of you sound like you value being emotionally abused. eek.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 9, 2013 2:46:17 PM


  7. What a little freak!

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Apr 9, 2013 3:09:17 PM


  8. Stockholm syndrome.

    Posted by: Ryan | Apr 9, 2013 3:31:19 PM


  9. I would LOVE to have heard the manipulative talk that his father gave to him prior to his TV appearance. This young man seems very nice but also utterly naive. I wish him well.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Apr 9, 2013 4:41:17 PM


  10. Dad was disappointed that I quit REPARATIVE THERAPY... you know, because he sees me as so broken and unwhole... The sad part is that neither father nor son understands homosexuality. To agree as an adult to go through "reparative therapy" shows a serious lack of self-awareness on the partof a gay man.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Apr 9, 2013 4:42:43 PM


  11. The sadder part still is that their relationship was the worst when son wouldn't abide by dad's plans for him -when he quit "reparative therapy". "Gee son, you don't want to repair your broken and wretched self?? I'm very disappointed in you, son!" This vile father of his never took one step out of his comfort zone to try to understand homosexuality... it was ALL on dad's terms. All dad's desires and perspective that was controlling everything. I get a vibe that dad keeps his kids under his thumb... Very very sad family dynamic.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Apr 9, 2013 4:45:17 PM


  12. EXACTLY, Dan. even today, it's still ALL on Dad's terms.

    wake up, gay conservatives - you won't be accepted or respected until you finally grow a spine.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 9, 2013 5:22:09 PM


  13. Kidnap victims can develop Stockholm Syndrome in a matter of days, imagine how much he's been bent to his parents will over a lifetime.

    Posted by: fanboi | Apr 9, 2013 5:40:56 PM


  14. His parents are bigots, and sending him to "ex-gay" therapy was simply abuse.

    Posted by: TomTallis | Apr 9, 2013 9:49:04 PM


  15. Your dad wants you to be involved with reparative therapy?? Sounds anti-gay to me!

    Posted by: Andy | Apr 9, 2013 11:38:23 PM


  16. Bob (Apr 8,9:34 PM) Yes - good call. The father is a politician in very Mormon Mesa. So it's not just social, and for Mormons social=church, but also political for his father. He obvioulsy no doubt believes all this crap besides.

    I wonder how Matt intends to have this family he dreams about without being able to adopt kids, like his father voted? Actual current adoption law in Arizona is a very mixed bag. (Look it up).

    Matt, you are nearer 30 than 20. Time to Get Over It.

    Posted by: emjayay | Apr 10, 2013 12:21:29 AM


  17. I just watched the Vimeo film (thanks Lars). Check it out: http://vimeo.com/17826662

    Matt was more adorable about three or four years ago when they made it, probably when he was in his last year at ASU. He never mentions the ungaying therapy. He does mention working with Log Cabin Republicans. At the end of the video it says all three guys left the Mormon church including his then-boyfriend who is also in it. Obviously Matt didn't go that far away when he left.

    I don't quite condemn him either. It's all just sad for him and missing an opportunity to make a small but valuable contribution to civilisation (and himself). He's had three plus years to grow since then, a lot of gay issues have come a long way in that period of time, and he has walled himself off from history and in fact moved relatively backwards. Probably in GOProud by now.

    Sad.

    Posted by: emjayay | Apr 10, 2013 1:17:12 AM


  18. His dad is a bigot. Sadly, this is what post gay therapy looks like. One has to take into account he was also raised in Mesa and born into a Mormon family where the religion is full of abuse of all sorts,
    the women are second class and subordinate to the husband, and the gays will not be tolerated. Poor thing, now he needs to go into reparitive therapy for all that family and religious abuse.

    Posted by: JT | Apr 10, 2013 7:45:21 AM


  19. Matt Jr. is articulate, charming, and obviously still suffering post traumatic stress disorder. Years of being a gay Mormon have taken its toll, and I'm willing to give him a break. But eventually, he really does need to GROW A PAIR! His father and mother worked to ban not just marriage, but all domestic partner benefits for gay couples. His father voted to ban gay adoptions in D.C. I realize his unspoken message to his parents is "please don't abandon me," but Matt Jr., you are far better than your parents, and it would be THEIR loss to lose you!

    Posted by: Marc Paige | Apr 11, 2013 9:42:49 AM


  20. To all those who are critical of Matt and his relationship with his father, I know from personal expeience how difficult it can be to walk the tight-rope of coming out and living an open and honest life, while balancing your feelings for family and respect for their feelings. It can take MANY years for reconciliation to finally happen, but I don't doubt that Matt's family will come around, and they will dance at his wdding. But it's not going to happen at all if Matt adopts a "My way or the highway" attitude. Having been through this same ordeal, I think Matt is saying and doing the right things to help move his family slowly but surely to his side.

    I came out in 1976 to a very conservative and religious family. It almost tore the family apart, but after many years of building bridges between my biological family and my family of choice, we have all been reconciled. It takes many years and a lot of hard work, but it's worth it.

    Posted by: Howard | Apr 15, 2013 2:52:40 PM


  21. the thing is, Howard, it's not just a case of "do this or i'm cutting you out of my life" - what needs to happen is for Matt to finally buck up and ADDRESS that, yes, his father is anti-gay. and prejudiced. and bigoted. and that that knowledge HURTS.

    Yes, it can take many years. But it'll take even more if you cater to the prejudices and cower before the, rather than boldly and flatly address them.

    what matt needs to present to his father is honesty.

    would matt be a LOT happier and feel more loved if his father finally stopped working against not just marriage equality, but also the right of gay people to be allowed to adopt?
    yes.

    and so, what matt would do well to present to his father is that truth: that his father's refusal to grow and learn on those issues are indeed making matt "less happy" and feeling "less loved"

    and then it's up to his father to decide if he'll be worthy of the name FATHER - what kind of father intentionally chooses to deny his own son joy and love and equality? exactly.

    at some point you need to be a man, not a boy, and ask yourself how well "your way of doing things" is working so far.

    too many gay people think "what if my family cuts me out if i make a fuss about this?" while their families never ask themselves "what if our son cuts us out if we don't grow and learn to be more accepting?"

    take back the power, fellas.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 15, 2013 3:03:27 PM


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