Ed Smart, the father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, reportedly revealed that he is gay in a since-deleted Facebook post. According to PEOPLE, Smart shared the news that he has “recently acknowledged to [himself] and [his] family that [he is] gay,” later adding how the decision was based on his need to be honest.
“The decision to be honest and truthful about my orientation comes with its own set of challenges, but at the same time it is a huge relief," he wrote. "Living with the pain and guilt I have for so many years, not willing to accept the truth about my orientation has at times brought me to the point where I questioned whether life was still worth living.”
Smart also said that this was “one of the hardest letters I have ever written,” expressing that while he has been a loyal member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for many years. “As an openly gay man, the church is not a place where I find solace any longer.”
“It is not my responsibility to tell the church, its members or its leadership what to believe about the rightness or wrongness of being LGBTQ,” he added. Additionally, it is reported that Smart later told KUTV that he is still in "good standing" with the church.
Smart then went on to speak about his family, addressing how this has impacted his relationships with them.
“Lois has been a loyal wife, and extraordinary mother, who has had to endure an impossible part of this journey. I deeply regret the excruciating pain this has caused her. Hurting her was never my intent. While our marriage will end, my love for Lois and everyone in my family is eternal,” he reportedly wrote,
Elizabeth, who is now 31 years old, issued a statement to The Salt Lake Tribune on the news, expressing that she fully supports her parents.
“My parents taught me as a young child that they would love me unconditionally no matter what happened,” she said. “While I am deeply saddened by their separation, nothing could change my love and admiration for them both. Their decisions are very personal. As such, I will not pass judgment and rather am focusing on loving and supporting them and the other members of my family.”0comments
Elizabeth was kidnapped at the age of 14, and held captive for nine months before she was rescued. Today, she and her parents all work as activists for child safety, often speaking on behalf of children who cannot speak for themselves.
Photo Credit: GEORGE FREY / GETTY
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