We’ve heard countless stories of antigay conservatives having a change of heart when one of their children or close family members comes out as gay, but that’s either a long way off from happening or a mere pipe dream in the case of Beau Miller and his dad, Texas Representative Rick Miller.
Beau is an attorney and HIV activist in a long term relationship, and just last year thought his family had made a breakthrough when the couple was invited home for Christmas.
But a mere seven weeks later, his dad Rick filed a bill that would repeal local ordinances banning discrimination against gay and transgender people, attempting to roll back progress in the state.
“We were invited to Christmas, and I thought that was a good step,” Beau told the Dallas News. But now, “My dad wants people to be able to have the opportunity to discriminate against his own son.”
In March, Beau went to the Capitol to confront his dad over the ill-conceived bill, and the two haven’t spoken since, save for a few text messages when they each had a recent birthday.
Gays, Rick argues, have “become a protected class” whose status is “discriminatory toward me” and other God-fearing Christians.
“I’m a person who believes in individual liberty and freedom,” he said, “and I don’t discriminate personally.”
Rick has also said publicly that he feels Beau being gay is a “chosen lifestyle.” Because he’d really be the best person to judge that.
On whether or not they can mend their relationship, Rick said, “From my wife and I’s perspective, it’s up to him. We’ll want to talk to him. We’ll want to get together with him at Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Beau doesn’t want to lose his father altogether, either. “I do love him, and I love him unconditionally,” he said. “I don’t have to like everything he does.”
He added in a Facebook post, “I do have love and support in this tough time, but many people whom these bills would impact don’t. They need to know they’re not alone and have the love and support of a vast number of people.”
While we wish Beau the best in his family life, that’s one Thanksgiving table we don’t want a seat anywhere near.