Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth
Smart, has described his coming out gay as the second miracle in his
life after the safe return of his daughter.
Smart, 64, came out gay earlier this
year in a private Facebook post to his neighbors, friends and family
that went public.
Speaking Saturday at a conference in
Lehi, Utah, Smart said that the first miracle in his life was the
safe return of his teenage daughter Elizabeth after she had been
kidnapped in 2002.
The second miracle in his life was the
warm welcome he received after coming out gay.
“This was something I could no longer
keep back,” he said, according to The
Salt Lake Tribune. “And I'm grateful for the love and
support I've felt.”
A lifelong member of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Smart said that he no longer
felt comfortable in the church because of his sexual orientation. The
church remains opposed to same-sex relationships.
“Hopefully the rhetoric calms down
and, as a society, we get to the point where we can accept our
brothers and sisters,” he said.
Smart suggested that he had
contemplated suicide and had thought of himself as “broken.”
“I thought Elizabeth's ordeal was
very difficult,” he said, struggling through tears. “But this was
“How often do you get to have a
second miracle in your life? Because accepting myself for who I am
really has been another miracle,” he said.