But sometimes, gay Republicans jump ship. Giuliano says he left the party after it became too socially conservative. "It became crystal clear to me that I could spend the rest of my life trying to 'work from within' and 'strengthen the moderate voice' of the Republican Party," Giuliano says. "But make no mistake, the core values of the Republican Party are tied to religious-based, anti-equality voices . . . and that is not going to change."

"In fact, after every more-moderate Republican candidate for president has lost, the party has shifted further to the right, led by a strong religious-based coalition," Giuliano says. "I decided as long as I remained a Republican, I was adding strength to and enabling a party that does not believe in 'liberty and justice for all' and will never accept or support me being treated equally."

Gay Republicans also get flak from their own party. In 1995, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole's campaign returned the Log Cabin Republicans' $1,000 donation, stating Dole was in "100 percent disagreement with the agenda of the Log Cabin Republicans."

Matt Salmon and Kent Flake at home with their dogs, Javier and Jim.
Jamie Peachey
Matt Salmon and Kent Flake at home with their dogs, Javier and Jim.
Kent Flake and Matt Salmon (right) want to have a family of their own someday.
Jamie Peachey
Kent Flake and Matt Salmon (right) want to have a family of their own someday.

Recently, Republican commentator Ann Coulter was blasted for her plans to speak at Homocon, a gathering of gay Republicans set for September 25 in New York City. Conservative site WorldNetDaily dropped Coulter from its upcoming conference. She defended herself by saying, "They hired me to give a speech, so I'm giving a speech."

Salmon doesn't believe being a Republican means being anti-gay. He says Democrats haven't done much to advance gay rights, either, and says it was President Bill Clinton who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law and instituted "don't ask, don't tell." He also says, "President Obama doesn't believe in gay marriage."

"I don't really feel like equality has a party," Salmon says. "I don't like what a lot of Republicans have been doing recently . . . but I think if Republicans really get back to their roots, I think it's a party the gay community can get behind."

As for how he feels about his father's anti-gay voting record, Salmon says, "We clearly disagree. But I know why he believes what he does, and it doesn't really hurt me. I don't know how to explain, but I'm not offended at all."

"It's bad for anyone to be in opposition to equality, but everyone comes from a different background," Salmon says. "I was raised that way, too, believing that homosexuality is wrong. At one time, I shared his views."


Young Matt Salmon believed in Santa Claus until he was 12. For years, other kids tried convincing him that Santa didn't exist. They'd share stories, like how one girl caught her parents putting presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.

He defended Santa fiercely. There was always an explanation — like, you could get presents from your parents and Santa. His faith wasn't shattered until sixth grade. One day, his teacher was talking to the class and said, "Most of you know by now that Santa Claus isn't real."

Salmon was devastated. "What? He isn't real?"

He felt guilty for finding out the truth. His parents had played along, and he felt he was somehow taking away their joy at playing the roles of Santas, Easter Bunnies, and Tooth Fairies by not believing anymore.

Matt's cousin, Krista Salmon Gohus, remembers him as a "very sweet and kind little boy" who always played with girls because he had no male cousins his age.

Gohus says that her upbringing, like Matt's, revolved around the Mormon Church. "Matt was taught by his family the importance of God in all aspects of life," she says. "Our family is extremely patriotic and very Republican."

Though Salmon's childhood was normal, even somewhat privileged, his shame for being attracted to boys followed him everywhere, from the annual family vacations in Newport Beach, California, to their regular church services.

"I remember when I was about 7 or 8 being attracted to other boys, but I didn't really know what it was," he says. "Growing up, I felt so much shame, all coming from my belief in the church."

Until high school, Matt says he was uninterested in his father's political work. "My father rarely brought politics home," he says. "He worked five days a week and had to travel out of town a lot. He was only home on Saturdays and Sundays."

Though unaware of his father's politics, Matt had similar convictions of his own: Homosexuality was bad, and he'd never get into Heaven being gay.

When Matt came out to his mother at 14, he wasn't seeking acceptance. He was seeking help. "I had an extremely guilty conscience," he says. "The church said if I prayed and fasted and confessed, I could overcome my weakness. And that's what I felt like I had — a weakness."

So he prayed, fasted, and repented constantly — for years. Nothing changed. "I remember feeling that I was destined for Hell. I felt like I could never be fixed," he says. "I always felt overwhelmed with the fact this is how my life is going to be."

A few months after coming out to his mother, Salmon told his father.

"The first time I had a conversation with him about it, it did not go well. He was very upset and said some things right off that I know he doesn't really feel," Salmon says. "He's never called me any slurs or anything like that, but he made it clear he didn't like it."

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263 comments
Myname
Myname

I wonder which one is the "girl" in that relationship! Haha!

MM
MM

I don't have any kids yet, and sometimes I worry I'll screw up parenting. But then I read this and take comfort in the fact that I would never do to my children what the Salmons and the Flakes did to their sons. I honestly can't understand how people could treat their families this way.

Imanoid2
Imanoid2

It could not have happened to nicer, right wing, Mormons. For all those that prayed that Salman's kids might grow up gay, prayer does work. For over 40 years the state legislature has been under the control of republicans and Mormons. Though an occasional Dem has held the governor's seat, we all KNOW that all they can do is sign or veto bills. Now, we are in the worst shape this state has ever been in. Thanks again to the policies of the republican/Mormon cabal that runs this state's legislature. To hell with their gay problems. This state is last in education, health care for the indigent, etc. But, the governor signed a health care program that pays for her molester son's care in the state hospital with her line item veto pen. Way to go, brain dead, Brewer.

Twinkie
Twinkie

So, because he is gay, this bright young man's mother and father have a 'strained' relationship with him and his siblings stopped speaking to him for a while. That, absolutely, is their loss, not his.

Arizonarocks
Arizonarocks

"There were a lot of us 10 years ago that prayed one of Matt Salmon's kids would turn out gay," says Steve May Nice steve.

um yeah can we get a picture of the two of your kissing for the cover.... yeah and maybe one of you could sit on the other ones lap... thats the money shot... its a wrap.

Bill
Bill

After reading the story I admit that I am confused as to the point. Was it that you can be gay and still be a Republican? Or was it an expose on the son of a prominent Mormon politician coming out of the closet? As a conservative and as a Mormon, my NATURAL tendency was to assume the latter. However (and my whole point in posting), the most redeeming information in the story was Matt's comment at the very end about how it took him 20 years to come to grips with his lifestyle and he could appreciate the fact that it might take his parents some time as well.

I think people on BOTH sides of this issue could learn from that. I have definite beliefs that I know not everybody shares. I have very real and personal reasons for holding and reinforcing those beliefs that I don't expect everybody to understand. Conversely, I don't understand the gay lifestyle and don't want to be expected to understand it. However, I can associate with individuals who are gay, respect them for the good they contribute to an organization or society as a whole and as long as their lifestyle and/or belief system doesn't infringe upon my rights or my pursuit of happiness, I can honestly say, I am fine with them choosing to live life as they desire. When their lifestyle and/or belief system in some way (in my perception) imposes upon my rights or my pursuit of happiness, then there needs to be rational discourse and I need to expend energy to try to understand the other's point of view and would expect the same of the other side.

This is my first time commenting on a story in any publication but have been an avid reader of many stories surrounding gay marriage (and other issues) and the various comments posted from either side. As a general rule (and there are always exceptions), the comments from BOTH sides are very much intended to intimidate or belittle the opposite side. Can't we all just allow each other to take some time (and make an effort) to understand each other?

Azmiike
Azmiike

Wow, how do you like that, the article alludes to the fact that maybe the notable Republicans in the story should be ashamed that their progeny or relations are gay. How typically liberal; spewing out of both sides of their sleazy mouths.

Robin Fletcher
Robin Fletcher

Gays supporting Republicans...not very different from rape victims supporting the neighborhood rapist and black Americans supporting the KKK.

Merski
Merski

This is one messed up, conflicted dude. Log Cabin Republicans, what a joke. More like Jews for Hitler.

TomBlunt
TomBlunt

This whole article reads as if Matt wrote it about himself, by himself. I'm sure he loves the attention.

GEORGE
GEORGE

Stay out of politics - you who don't know right from wrong.

Sean Smith
Sean Smith

Yup! Keep hating the gays. There's this thing in life call Karma. The more hate you got the more you'll be confronted. Hate is never about someone else but yourself. Like masturbation it's a self gratification act in a very bad way. It might not literally make you blind. But intellectually and spiritually you are.

None
None

Yo Randy_blackmer - please, we don't subscribe to your delusion. Why is it that you obvious a gay man think straight guys are all curious? "May like it a lot?"

Feel the need to go on and on about it & actually get mad trying to prove your point. Put your hand on the wrong man Randy-your going to get your clock cleaned.

Randy_blackmer
Randy_blackmer

Sounds like their are a whole lot of "straight guys out there" that are actually "curious". Watch out straight man, you may like it alot.

Randy_blackmer
Randy_blackmer

Thank God that we can now see that all religions, all faiths and all people are not compelled to be straight. Some try very hard to be what they percieve as the expectation of parents and their religious leaders. And why wreck a spouses life trying to be straight. Explore you sexuality and enjoy it, it is a part of you, you can not change it. Their is no cosmetic surgery to add alittle here and take away alittle there. Too bad the Mormon church is not better educated and up to date on real life, I feel sorry for all Mormons.

Jzonieee
Jzonieee

Holy Crap! Like I want to see a pic of 2 dudes kissing. Disgusting! Pics of unnatural acts is not news! If mother nature doesn't support it = not natural, no matter how much you try to brainwash yourself into thinking that it is. Your life, your choice, I'm fine with. But a spade is a spade and don't call it something else. :)

Mesa Mike
Mesa Mike

Speaking of Homosexuals, how about Benji? He steals the article of a Cincinati writer, plants it in a Scottsdale testerone laden sophmoric rag to make him look masculine. He fakes a family photo.... classic closet gay ploy. Hires a wife, and lives at Mommy and Daddy's house in Paradice Valley.

None
None

Repulsive.

MStrat
MStrat

This story was on a radio talk show in DC, and that's how I found out about it.

Wishing you two all the best in your relationship.

--Mike

F. Allen
F. Allen

Oh big whoop. There are way more important things going on than whose son likes to plow whose nephew's back forty. This is just a bunch of irrelevant gossip.

ByteRider
ByteRider

True. I don't know you. What do I know is your community, your life style, and the many issues that surround both.

So, if you donated blood around 18 or 19, did you know you were gay then?

ByteRider
ByteRider

Untrue [about anal sex]. Where there are heterosexuals that do, they are probably even more in the minority than homosexuals (let's face it, Mike, NO ONE has stats on THAT particular subject). But (all pun intended) because anal cancer is more representative in the gay community, I would ball-park it and say anal sex was not common among heteros. Anal Cancer is common in people who regularly participate in poo-fun. Eww... even a 5 yo old knows to stay away from someone else's poo, Mike.. I mean, dude... seriously. Get a grip.

On Paul's Staff
On Paul's Staff

Please don't forget our most popular gay politician. PAUL BABEU. Gay Republican Sheriff for Pinal County. Ask him, don't listen to silly comments here. PAUL IS GAY. If he would do like responsible practicioners, he would admit it and move on with his political life. Another time we will visit with you about the ages of some of his male lovers.

swk88
swk88

hmm anyone else think this article is a little biased? apparently if you're not pro-gay anti-religion you're wrong?

Arizonasux
Arizonasux

What is disgusting about Arizona is not that it has gay politicians. Whatever. What is more important than these people's personal lives is their political stances, whether those stances benefit Arizonans in general, and how they spend their time in the legislature on the public dime. What disgusts me about Arizona is how it's OK in this antiquated outpost of a territory for men to be gay and be in politics but for women's rights and issues to be so anathema to the legislative, political and judicial systems here.

jeb
jeb

wait they rented the movie from redbox? how progressive.

Henry
Henry

I would hope that Arizona someday becomes a little more open and progressive and less run by bigoted individuals motivated by religious insanity.Gayness does not automatically mean that one is feminine and the other masculine. This is an old misconception. Two men can fall in love with each other am make very good partners and contribute every bit or more to society.

I am
I am

Whats sad is the feminization of men in this country our culture is very i'lland it's examples of this lifestyle that is bringing our nation to ruin.If the maker had intended for such a life style, he would have created us all as dual genders.the facts are the facts, if all of us where gay we would become as the Dinasours.I too had desires of sex with boys when young, I think we all have that as we are growing, but I realized that it was not right, and thought why would I want to live such an empty life

I am
I am

yeah like we need more feminiaztion in our Country

Filmscorefan
Filmscorefan

Great comment! Shows the absolute absurdity of "gay" relationships.

Arizonarocks
Arizonarocks

Robin shhhh you will wake the other patients...

Pdog2006
Pdog2006

Randy, I don't need or want your sympathy. You read one ex-Mormon's view and recollection of the church's perception of homosexuals, one that has been edited with some creative license (Matt Jr. would obviously know that "ministers" in the Mormon church are actually called "bishops"). I recall clearly the Sunday that the proposition was briefly discussed in our meeting. No money was ever solicited, although volunteers were accepted to aid in the phone center. Nothing demeaning AT ALL was said about gays. Our bishop even said, and I quote, "If the purpose of this is to target and attack homosexuals, I would not be up here talking about it and I would not support it.". He then went on to define how our faith, and many others, defines marriage -- by it's definition in an official church document called "The Family: A Proclamation To The World" (http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index..... It states that a marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God, and that the family is central to His eternal plan. It was presented on September 23, 1995 by President Gordon B. Hinckley...well before the 2008 election cycle. Our bishop never mentioned "homosexual promiscuity" or anything like it, and I doubt any bishop from the pulpit would. I think, assuming he was quoted accurately, Matt Jr. is being less-than-honest in his portrayal of his former church leaders. Maybe it's retribution to the church after years of feeling guilty, I don't know. Hopefully he and his family can iron things out.

Either way, it's unfortunate that the New Times has chosen to publish another hit piece (indirectly) about the LDS. Until they insist on more accurate reporting and less bias, they'll never be taken too seriously. FOXNEWS.com of the left, maybe?

The Ghost In You
The Ghost In You

Not enough cheese in the state of Wisconsin to go with that whine.

Smarm Seer
Smarm Seer

And the big blue ribbon award for World's Most Ignorant, Venomous Asshole goes to...ByteRider. May the membrane-eating affliction in your brain spread to your ever-flapping poisoned tongue and then rapidly to your righteous rectum. Clearly, no one can save you.

!inthecloset
!inthecloset

Religion is a poison that make minds weak, and enslaves bodies to the collective, amid intonations on baseless fears, uncertainties, and doubts.

ByteRider
ByteRider

As reported by the CDC, Sept. 23rd, 2010: "1 in 5 male homosexuals in America have HIV".

Still feel so open minded about things, Henry? This is a community that espouses promiscuity and debauchery. Proof is in the numbers. Don't take my word for it.. yes.. I am biased, no doubt about it... so, don't listen to me, people, just look at the numbers and forget I even exist.

!inthecloset
!inthecloset

Hell, I've known gay men that you -would not- want to be in a fight with...

Labels suck (except when they don't - geek and proud of it!).

TeoBuneo
TeoBuneo

I think you are just still closeted, thats all. Someone has brainwashed you into believing your desires are wrong and go against your "maker". Sad that you can't just accept yourself for who you obviously are. I known and highly respect many gay men and women. You are wrong though that everyone has desires for the same sex while growing up. I believe I firmly fixated on the fairer sex when in second grade a pair twin girls and I would crawl into an empty 55 gallon barrel and play doctor during recess. We did that often and I'm certain that I fell madly in love with the female during those exquisite hours of forbidden play. My family moved to a ranch that summer and I remember vivid dreams of those wonderful girls and their beautiful bodies when I had to take my nap every afternoon. In the following years I would seek out girls who enjoyed that type recess and after school play, but they were few and far between until my early teens. Never had the slightest interest in males though.

!inthecloset
!inthecloset

Gotta love that binary thinking style, you have there. There must be no dawn, nor any evening in your small world...

If there is one thing I have learned from my study of biology, its that there is no "black and white"; everything is a "shade of gray". To think that sexuality is somehow different, is to be blind to the reality of evolution (which, as a process, can't help but produce gradations).

!inthecloset
!inthecloset

What we citizens need is more sanity, skepticism, rationality and logical thinking - but that will never occur, because that would take effort.

xnfriend
xnfriend

@Filmscorefan  No, it shows absolute ignorance of same-sex relationships.  You and Myname think only in terms of heterosexual patterns of relationship and can't - or don't wish to - think in any other terms, because you hold attitudes against same-sex relationships.  Probably, both of you think women are inferior to men, and you treat your girlfriends/wives/whatever as inferior to you.  How sad for them!  In any case, there is no "girl" in the Flake/Salmon relationship; there are only two men.  Whatever "roles" they take in the relationship are theirs to decide.

Mattrsalmon
Mattrsalmon

Pdog2006, you talk like you know what was said in every meeting around the state. You were not in the meeting I was in that day. I know what I heard, and I heard a high councilman say exactly what Niki quoted. Yes, she inaccurately quoted "minister" but as far as what was said, she got it right on. As you may know, men have a tendency of adding their own interpretation, that is what the councilman did at that time. In no way did Niki claim that every single leader said that over the pulpit, she was however relating a story of my past for which I stopped actively going to church. We all have different experiences, accept that, just because your bishop did not say ignorant things, doesn't mean ignorant things were not said elsewhere.

In no way am I seeking retribution, as it is not something I require here.

ByteRider
ByteRider

Think I'm being harsh, Smarm?

Yesteday the CDC announced, and it was on a lot of headlines, "1 in 5 America homosexual males have HIV".

But the CDC must be filled with homophobic ignorant, venomous assholes too, huh?

How do I UNASSHOLE myself? "Oh, I'm sorry, poo is fun, those 5 yo's were misled by their hetero parents, shame on them". Face it dude, truth hurts.

TruthOut
TruthOut

No, dipshit, as reported by the CDC:

"Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it, U.S. health officials said on Thursday."

They specifically did not state that one in five of all gay men have HIV, as they don't have the stats to back that up.

You must learn to read critically, and to cite accurately. Today - you get a big fat fail.

Guest
Guest

I have a saying: "There is no black and white, the world has every color of the rainbow."

TruthOut
TruthOut

What the CDC actually said was "Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it, U.S. health officials said on Thursday."

They expressly did not apply the statistic to all homosexual males, as the statistics can not be defended in a peer review.

Of note, however, you were discussing the occurance of rectal cancer, not HIV, so what really was your point, other than to demonstrate you can't be trusted to accurately use sources you cite?

 
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