Focus on Propostion 8
BY Lesley Goldberg
June 17 2010 12:55 PM ET
My relationships with my sisters and my father are forever ruined. And my relationship with my mother, because she has defended my sisters and my dad, it is at a very critical stage. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my family. I would have wanted my family to stand with me; instead I had to stand alone. My dad wrote me an e-mail saying, “It’s out in the media that I told you in a conversation that God gave me the scriptures first before he gave me you. Where the hell did that come from?” I had to respond, “Dad, it came out of your mouth. And by the way, don’t fault me for what’s out in the media and don’t fault me for the fracture in our family. If you have a problem with the fracture in our family, take it up with your prophet, take it up with your church leaders — who you side with. There’s where the problem is. Don’t blame it on me.” That’s the truth. The fractures in all Mormon families and families of all faiths aren’t the fault of the gay child. They’re the fault of religious leaders and the family that chooses to listen to the bully who stands at the pulpit, the bigot at the pulpit.
The film is incredibly well researched. Is there one specific interview that’s had the most impact on you?
From an emotional standpoint, the most impactful story was Stuart Matis, a young Mormon who was gay who strapped a note to himself saying “Do not resuscitate” and blew his brains out on the steps of a Mormon church in California. That story has been out there, but what took my breath away was when I asked his parents years later to be interviewed for this film, after all of the damage of Proposition 8 and after knowing of their son’s suicide, they asserted to me in a voice-mail message that’s in the film, “We have no other than position than what the position of the church is.” Still they persisted in defending and supporting the church.
Knowing what you do now, would you do this all over again?
Yes, and doubly so. Sign me up twice. I’ve gotten so many letters from young people that said, “You don’t know how close I was to suicide.”