Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, posted a letter on Facebook Thursday that held some stunning revelations: He’s gay, divorcing Elizabeth’s mother, and “doesn’t see a place for himself in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” per the Deseret News.
Smart explained that he had “come to a change in my beliefs. It is because of this change, that I can finally acknowledge and accept my orientation. Had I not had a change in my beliefs, I would have likely remained closeted the rest of my life.”
He calls wife Lois “a loyal wife and extraordinary mother” and says he “deeply [regrets] the excruciating pain this has caused her.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reports the post was taken down as soon as the media got wind of it, but Ed Smart confirmed it, adding it’s “one of the hardest letters I’ve ever written.”
Court records show Lois Smart filed for divorce in early July. As for Ed Smart’s ties to the LDS church, which he says has been a “blessing” in his life, it appears he may be severing them, though he tells KUTV he’s still a member in good standing.
He writes in his letter that he has “come to the conclusion that it was never my Savior’s intent to change me from the way I was born” and that “as an openly gay man, the church is not a place where I find solace any longer.”
Elizabeth Smart reacted to the news with her own statement. “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.” (Read more Elizabeth Smart stories.)
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