By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Salmon tried to change for the next seven years, still believing in the Mormon Church. Church leaders encouraged him to overcome his homosexuality. Salmon wanted nothing more. He was crushed when told he would probably not be chosen to go on a mission.
"I tried so hard to do what they wanted me to do and be who they wanted me to be, but I could never do it," he says. "It never worked. I even went to reparative therapy to turn me straight."
Though Salmon's therapist was Mormon, he says, "it wasn't a religious therapy," but more Freudian. "His therapy was all based on the fact that I had a distant father . . . It was like, 'Growing up, you've missed some developmental steps,'" Salmon says. "'You have these tendencies because when you were little, you didn't let yourself become attached to other men. So, in not letting yourself develop healthy relationships with other men, the exotic becomes the erotic.'"
At the time, Salmon was "all about" the therapy. "I look back and think how brainwashed I was," he says.
His therapist debunked the idea of divine intervention. "My therapist even told me, 'Praying is never going to heal you,'" Salmon says.
Near the end of his therapy, Salmon was dating a girl. He says she had no idea he was gay and in therapy. She was awesome and they got along great, he recalls, but one day she broke up with him. Through tears, she said she told him there was some reason they couldn't be together — that she just felt it.
He left therapy. "It hit me, and I took it as kind of a sign," Salmon says. "And I realized I could never be with a woman unless I was naturally attracted to her, and this therapy was basically training me on how to be attracted to women. So after that is when I told my parents I was done with therapy — and I still believed in the church all through this time."
Salmon continued to attend church, and loathe himself. In 2006, he helped his mother campaign for Proposition 107 and voted for it.
"I was extremely torn on it," Salmon says. "I knew what I wanted, but because of how I raised . . . I was willing to even discriminate against myself, rather than go against my family and what I was taught."
One day in summer 2008, Matt R. Salmon was sitting in church in Mesa. The minister was talking about two proposed bans on gay marriage, California's Proposition 8 and Arizona's Proposition 102, and encouraging people to donate to the campaigns. Salmon recalls the minister saying all homosexual relationships were selfish and all homosexuals promiscuous.
"And I'm thinking, 'This is ridiculous,'" Salmon says. "It was after that I just stopped going. I feel like if you're going to go to church, you should be edified, and I actually felt worse when I'd be at church."
That fall, Salmon voted at the polls on Proposition 102. This time, he voted "no."
Salmon's waning faith in the church finally collapsed on a car ride with his father, while visiting his parents in Virginia for Christmas 2008.
"My dad was talking about Scientology, and how ridiculous it was as a religion," Salmon says. "He'd say, 'It was created by a science fiction author, and they believe men started out as aliens, and they have to pay these ridiculous sums of money in order to advance in their religion.'"
Salmon saw parallels to Mormonism — how it was started by a 14-year-old boy who said humans were the first "intelligences" and that men can become gods, and how tithing was the only way to advance in the church.
"So after that, I really started to question the thinking. Do I really believe in all this?" Salmon says. He ultimately decided he didn't, and had his name removed from Mormon Church records in May.
Matt says he received his father's support when he decided to reform the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans.
"The last time we talked about my active involvement, he said, 'You know, though I don't agree with your opinion . . . if this is something you feel you need to fight for and stand up for, then you should,'" Salmon says. "So that was really great."
Salmon's hopeful that not only his family will be more open to gay rights someday, but maybe so will the Republican Party and society as a whole. "In several years, once there is full equality, it's not going to be an issue, as far as who stands for what, because gays will have rights," he says. "I'm sure that will eventually be the case."
As for his family, Salmon's trying to be as understanding of them as he expects them to be of him.
"It took me 20 years to accept that I'm gay, and to live openly and understand equality issues," he says. "I can't expect them to do it in four months."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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?
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.
Gays supporting Republicans...not very different from rape victims supporting the neighborhood rapist and black Americans supporting the KKK.
This is one messed up, conflicted dude. Log Cabin Republicans, what a joke. More like Jews for Hitler.
This whole article reads as if Matt wrote it about himself, by himself. I'm sure he loves the attention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
hmm anyone else think this article is a little biased? apparently if you're not pro-gay anti-religion you're wrong?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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 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.
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).