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 more difficult.”

“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.