In his first network television
interview since coming out, Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart,
reveals he underwent conversion therapy.
Smart, 64, came out gay earlier this
year in a private Facebook post to his neighbors, friends, and family
that went public.
Smart is talking 17 years after the
safe return of his teenage daughter Elizabeth after she had been
kidnapped in 2002.
In addition to announcing his sexual
orientation, Smart revealed that he and Lois, his wife of 34 years,
were divorcing. The couple has six adult children.
“I never wanted to identify as being
gay,” Smart told CBS This Morning's Gayle King. “I never
wanted that to be part of me.”
“How did you try to fix it?” King
“I went to therapists. I went to my
church leaders,” Smart said, adding that he felt like he had
stabbed his wife in the heart.
“How do you cure being gay? There is
no cure. And for all of those out there that are struggling in this
same spot: There is no cure,” he said. “This is absolutely not a
choice. And I wish my wife knew that.”
Smart, a lifelong member of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which is opposed to
same-sex relationships, has said that he no longer feels comfortable
in the church because of his sexual orientation.