VIDEO: A Republican Congressman's Gay Son Records an Entry for "It Gets Better"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 2 2013 2:52 PM

VIDEO: A Republican Congressman's Gay Son Records an Entry for "It Gets Better"

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) and former President George W. Bush in 2002.

Photo by STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday I tried my #slatepitch best to explain that Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, a Republican with an out gay son, was clearly on his way to endorsing marriage equality. Sure, he said he "wasn't there yet." But the "yet" was awfully pregnant with meaning.

I wasn't aware then that the son, the junior Matt Salmon, had spoken out many times about his sexual identity. He's been a spokesman for the state's Log Cabin Republicans. In 2011, he recorded an "It Gets Better" video, cloaking some of the details about his situation, but leaving lots of clues.


"My dad is a Republican politician," said the younger Matt Salmon. "He was in Congress, and he's running for Congress again. I can tell you, since I came out, there's been a change in my family." He continues: "my parents still don't see equal LGBT rights as an issue, but my dad in his campaign now, he's come out publicly and talked with pride about me. He told a reporter, also, on the news, that he was proud of me for standing up for what I believe in, for standing up for gay rights."

In another time, the younger Salmon's activism would have sunk his father's campaign. It didn't. Salmon edged past a Republican primary opponent, 52-48, to win the nomination for the safe seat in suburban Phoenix, even though that other Republican had been endorsed by John McCain.

Hat tip for the video: Glenn Greenwald.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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