News :: Family

Gay Son Defends Congressman’s Opposition to Marriage Equality

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Apr 5, 2013
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The gay son of a Republican Arizona congressman who does not support gay marriage made headlines on Thursday after he defended his father’s views in an interview with the Washington Blade.

Rep. Matt J. Salmon (R-Ariz.) told a Phoenix station AZFamily last weekend that he believes marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman while acknowledging his gay son.

"I love him more than I can say," the lawmaker said. "It doesn’t mean that I don’t have respect, it doesn’t mean that I don’t sympathize with some of the issues. It just means I haven’t evolved to that stage."

Matt R. Salmon, his son, leaped to his father’s defense after seeing "a lot of hateful comments" on his dad’s Facebook page.

"Whether I can legally marry in Arizona or not, it’s not going to change that fact," Matt R. said. "My father knows that and he accepts my desire to be with the man that I love. As far as it goes with marriage, for him it’s a matter of what marriage means to him -- to him marriage is defined as between a man and a woman."

The LGBT community has been "incredibly intolerant," he complained to Blade reporter Mike Lavers. Nor, he noted, do people understand the relationship he has with his father.

"My father loves me very much and he supports me and he respects me," son Matt R. said. "He’s very much there for me as one of my closest friends." Matt. R Salmon is a former president of Arizona’s Log Cabin Republicans chapter, Lavers reported.

Unlike Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Matt R. said he doesn’t see having a gay son as having effected a change in his father’s position --┬áso far, at least. The younger Salmon is hopeful that hs father’s views on marriage equality are evolving. What he is sure of, he told the Blade, is that his parents "wouldn’t actively do anything" to endorse any bill that was blatantly anti-gay.

Rep. Salmon himself admitted that his views on marriage equality were indeed evolving in the Blade interview. He also brought up Sen. Portman, who became the first sitting Republican senator to announce his support for same-sex marriage recently. Portman said his views have changed after his son came out to him two years ago. "It just means that I haven’t evolved to that station," Matt J said. "Rob Portman apparently has. I haven’t."

Coincidentally, just a few days ago, a fellow Arizona GOP representative, Jeff Flake, made headlines when he called it "inevitable" that a GOP presidential candidate will support marriage equality.

Meanwhile the flood of Democratic senators rushing over to endorse marriage equality is continuing. The just-completed Supreme Court oral arguments on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, along with dramatic upticks in polls, have convinced those on the Right, including Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, editors at the National Review and even a columnist for Townhall that the United States at long last will be joining Spain, the Netherlands and Canada, among many other nations, in legalizing same-sex marriage. Uruguay is about to join that group, which means that the U.S. now ranks nations behind Mexico, South Africa and Argentina in this important indicator of equality for its citizens.

In recent days, it’s not only senators from the dark blue Northeast or Pacific Rim that have announced their views have changed.

New converts include Claire McCaskill from the important swing state of Missouri; and senators in the heart of Dixie, such as Mark Warner (Virginia); Kay Hagan (North Carolina). Even a senator from deeply religious West Virginia (Jay Rockefeller) and the land of Sarah Palin, Alaska (Mark Begich) have joined the march to equality.

These are all Democrats, and a Democrat congressperson announcing for marriage equality has become the proverbial "dog bites man" news story. The real news ("Man bites dog!") came on Thursday, when Illinois GOP Sen. Mark Kirk joined Portman.

Watch Matt R. Salmon’s "It Gets Better" video below:

Comments

  • Oh Jed said:, 2013-04-05 10:54:27

    That is not what love, support and respect looks like Matty...It’s called tolerating you while spinelessly navigating his career, which incidentally, you seem to be missing too along with your testicles.


  • Ian Chai, 2013-04-05 12:07:09

    Tolerance means one would support and defend a view he/she doesn’t agree on. If he thinks marriage is between man and women, fine, don’t impose that on me


  • Michael Thornton., 2013-04-05 13:47:26

    Let the man evolve! Even acknowlegding his gay son to the press is a huge step. When politicians say they’re views are evolving it really means " I know gay marriage is right, but I’m gonna test the waters with my constituents first and see where it goes. The fact that his son is so supportive leads me to believe they had a candid discussion and this is a well planned strategy


  • Bob K, 2013-04-05 16:46:58

    THE INSANITY OF THE MORMON THING -- there is NO way that the parents can support marriage equality and maintain their place in the mormon community. This poor kid went through years of torture because his parents and his entire community needed him to get over the "affliction of same sex attraction"


  • gdhamf, 2013-04-06 06:18:41

    How is life in that cabin UncleTom, are the str8 people tossing you some nice scraps from the table you are not allowed to have a seat at? As far as intolerant goes, I am not intolerant I do not accept second class citizenship, not tolerant or intolerant it is simple truth. Sorry to ramble folks but this one struck that LAST nerve we have heard so much about.


  • WayGay, 2013-04-06 09:14:32

    How sad. His father lives him, but apparently not enough to set aside his religious viewpoint. And the son apparently has self hating issues as well because he accepts being a second class citizen in the eyes of his father.


  • gary47290, 2013-04-07 16:19:25

    Watching Matt Jr, I wondered if he had forgotten the Mormon prohibitions on drugs and alcohol. He was incoherent and spewing nothing that made sense. I stopped the clip after about a minute because he had nothing to say, and was taking forever to do so.


  • cc, 2013-04-10 16:21:43

    Daddy’s door mat.


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