The Alabama peanut farmer and father whose heartrending protest of Roy Moore earlier this week that was spurred by his lesbian daughter who committed suicide, appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’s show. James Mathis, whose 22-year-old daughter Patti Sue Mathis killed herself in 1995 because she was gay, crashed a Moore rally on Monday prior to the Alabama Senate race that Democrat Doug Jones won despite Donald Trump’s endorsement of Moore. Amid Moore’s supporters, Mathis stood with a sign that highlighted accused child molester Moore’s virulent antigay stance. And a video of the protest in which Mathis begged people not to vote for Moore went viral.
Mathis admitted to DeGeneres that he was antigay at the time his daughter came out in 1995 “due to his teachings growing up,” adding that he was an ass at the time and he regrets it. He also told DeGeneres that Pattie Sue came to him at one point and said that she didn’t want to be gay, so he helped make appointments with doctors who could get to the root of her ailment. Referring to himself as "naïve" for thinking she could be cured, Mathis said that after several visits with doctors and psychologists who said there was absolutely nothing wrong with his daughter, he began to change his views about LGBT people.
Regarding why he felt it was necessary to actively protest Moore, Mathis told DeGeneres:
“There’s a man running for the United States Senate who said that gay people are perverts, gay people are committing a crime because they’re gay. I wanted people to realize that’s serious — a United States Senator that feels that way about people. He’s going to hold his hand up and say, ‘I uphold the Constitution.’ The Constitution said, “All men are created equal.” And that’s the way they should be treated. Gay people have rights, just like people who are not gay.”
DeGeneres thanked Mathis for taking action against Moore and gifted him with a donation to The Trevor Project in Pattie Sue’s name. Watch the moving video below.