AZ Congressman With Gay Son Is Still Against Same-Sex Marriage (UPDATED)

matt salmonFor every Rob Portman there’s a dozen Republicans that still don’t support marriage equality even though they have gay kids. The latest one to crawl out of the woodwork is Arizona congressman Matt Salmon.

In an interview with Arizona 3TV, the Mormon politician shared that, though his youngest son, Matt Jr., is openly gay, he’s not interested in giving him equal rights.

“It doesn’t mean I don’t have respect—it doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with some of the issues, it means I haven’t evolved to that station Rob Portman apparently has,” said Salmon, Sr. “I’m just not there in believing in my heart,” said Salmon “My son is one of the most important people in my life. I love him more than I can say.”

Daddy has an odd way of showing it: Rep. Salmon voted for DOMA in 1996, tried to ban gays and lesbians in D.C. from adopting children, and has pushed numerous other anti-LGBT measures. Even Matt Jr.’s mom, Nancy, helped raise some $50,000 for Proposition 107, which sought to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships in the Grand Canyon State.

In 2010, the Phoenix New Times reported:

 The Salmons have been so vocally anti-gay over the years that some local politicians, frankly, rejoiced when one of their four kids came out.

matt salmon kent flake“There were a lot of us 10 years ago that prayed one of Matt Salmon’s kids would turn out gay,” says Steve May. “Not because we wanted to cause any problems or pain for anybody, but because we believe that gay children will change the hearts and minds of their parents.”

Wanna bet Rep. Salmon will “evolve” on LGBT equality five minutes after the majority of his constituents do and it becomes politically expedient?

But the Salmon family situation is truly fascinating: Not only is Matt Rae Flake out but he’s the president of the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans—and his partner is Kent Flake, second cousin of right-wing Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.

The Flakes and Salmons (gotta love those names) have chilled toward their gay progeny: According to the New Times article, Matt Jr’s siblings un-friended him on Facebook when he started posting about his life with Kent.

And Kent’s family has no interest in meeting the love of their son’s life: “I’ve asked them many times to meet him, and they don’t want to see him,” Flake says. “My dad’s last comment to me was that he didn’t want him around our family, his kids, or his grandkids.

“Republican family values hard at work, folks!

UPDATE: According to an email from Matt R. Salmon, he and Flake are no longer together.

Photos: Jamie Peachey

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  • DustinStarrak

    My mother has made it her life mission to keep gay couples from enjoying the presence of each other.

  • erikwm

    Thank God I was born to Democrats.

  • gaymaniac

    That must be the Republican concept of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ at its best.

  • lab

    and after all the BS and abuse they are still log cabin republicans??? wow they must be masochists

  • 2eo

    @lab: When you are browbeaten, brainwashed and live with people whose existence can be classified as torture it is no surprise he’s grown up into a self loathing, suicidal and resentful man.

  • Scribe38

    @lab: I was wondering the same thing…@2eo: I was raised by a conservative religious family and couldn’t wait to leave that stuff behind. I only began dealing with my family when they agreed to meet me on my terms. Sometimes you have to pretend someone is dead so you can live! Looks like these young men need to learn this lesson.


    I can’t imagine being shunned by your family, and having your parents refuse to meet your partner. It is incredible that some people can be so cold to their own blood…disgusting.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Matt, Jr. and Kent are missing nothing!! My parents loved me whether was gay or straight (but the “towns’ people didn’t know about that!) T’was none of their business. This is the trash that UT people uphold in their glorious LDS light: Brewski, Arpieface, Pearce (RIP), Salmon, Fluk… errr, I meam Flake (most appropo!), et al. Desert/Deseret life must do something to the brain. My condolences to Kent and Jeff, Jr. Hundreds of families would adopt them in a New York second!

  • yaoming

    Log Cabin Reublicans? How’s that working out for you, fellows?

  • RSun

    I just don’t understand the Log Cabin Republican group. We don’t have anything like it in Canada. How a gay person could support a political party that considers them a second-class citizen is beyond me.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @RSun: It’s simple, RSun… Canada is intelligent and uses common sense. USA Republicans/conservatives? Mehhhhhh… not so lucky!

  • Cam

    Of COURSE he’d sell out his own family if he thought he needed to to keep stealing taxpayer money for his own gain.

  • Jim Hlavac

    My father was a Goldwater Republican, most of my family are — they all can’t wait to come to a wedding — indeed, the pressure is on for me to settle down. On the other than, I remember well when all the Democrats were against us too. We are not a political issue — we are very much a family issue because we are in our families, and a moral issue for we should be treated decently. We’ve gone from 100% disgust to 50% OK, and 40% working it through their hearts and minds, and 10% still a little crazy. Not so bad, you know.

    You know, encourage them to evolve, don’t antagonize them. Egad. How to win friends and influence people, eh?

  • RichieW

    If I were them I would shun my family. It is hard to believe Matt’s own siblings unfriended him. I would get involved in politics big time and embarras both sets of parents and families as much as I could. He claims to love his son, bullshit, actions speak louder than words.

  • mcflyer54

    A parent’s love should be unconditional. Not to want equality for your own child simply seems wrong. By rejecting your child you change nothing and you lose your child.

  • c_hay

    Maybe they will finally “evolve” on the issue when their kids commit suicide because of their shitty parenting.

  • Caleb in SC

    There is a special place in hell for people like him. Enjoy the heat, but don’t worry, there’s no humidity so it seems like only 1,000 degrees instead of 1,100 degrees.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Start a campaign in his district to protect Christians from the Mormon cult and he’ll be voted out of office.

  • sfbeast

    look at that pic of the two cute guys with their cute dogs. how sad their families hate them. and apparently, they can’t quite free themselves from the grip of the party of hate.

  • Billysees

    All of the comments here are very very insightful.

    I could add my own few comments to any one of them cause they’re so good.

    But I thought I’d present here what could be considered a sort of gold standard of how the whole world should think about and treat all of us LGBT’s —

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way…….Romans 14:13

    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God……Romans 15:7

    3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…….Ephesians 4:2

    4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…….1 Peter 3:8

    I would also say this, that if anyone cannot comprehend the above and make sure their conversation is accordingly, then that person is not worth listening to.

    Anyone with a similar favorite, say what it is.

    The larger the list becomes, the better the presentation will be to others who may not be aware of these truths.

  • Billysees

    I forgot to say this —

    If all kinds of folks would think like those verses above suggest, then the super-sad family stories that Matt and Kent have revealed here would not happen in the first place.

  • mcflyer54

    All to often many Christian forget to be Christ like. Instead of living by those verses you provided many prefer to go back to the old testament and (selectively) pick those verses that best suit their hate filled agenda.

  • Billysees

    @mcflyer54: 22

    You just made two very very important observations.

    1. “All to often many Christian forget to be Christ like.” —

    Many “forget” because they don’t know enough about Jesus in the first place. They so easily become subdued by church teachings that Christlikeness becomes uncertain. Churches are not gods, but some of them act like they are.

    And then there is some NT narative that easily challenge some of the simplest knowledge of Jesus’ words and work.

    Clarity is not an attribute of the scriptures and the inspiration that produced them.

    2. “……many prefer to go back to the old testament and (selectively) pick those verses that best suit their hate filled agenda.” —

    To me, the OT has got some great verses with great meaning. But for the very most part, the NT has the stuff that really matters. It has the best commentary that tells us how to treat folks and that is very important because those things are real “love and peace producers”.

    I don’t understand why some spend so much time and energy in the OT scriptures as if there wasn’t anything better.

    Sadly, there are things in both the OT “and the NT” that can feed someone’s obsession with hating or disliking certain things and people.

    I grew up in a liberal environment both politically and religiously. And so I like all the warm and fuzzy stuff that’s in this world and in the scriptures…

    Liberalism is one of the best lights we have to guide us.

    In other words, as the scriptures would say, overcome evil with good or overcome hate with love.

    Jesus sets many many great examples for us to follow.

    He was the best liberal that ever lived.

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