Ed Smart, the father of famed child kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart, said in an interview this week that coming out as gay was “more difficult” than when his 14-year-old daughter was taken from their Salt Lake City home, repeatedly raped and held captive for nine months.
Smart, who has six children with his now ex-wife Lois, made headlines earlier this year for coming out publicly as gay, a lifestyle that’s in opposition to the Mormon church in which he was raised and has been a member of his whole life. His newly embraced sexuality quickly launched him on to the national stage as a public advocate and lauded speaker at LGBTQ events, even landing him a spot on CBS This Morning this week where he told Gayle King he's "relieved" to be out.
But apparently, it's not enough to have simply come out as gay; now, Smart's comparing his own experience as a closeted homosexual with his family's struggle with Elizabeth's abduction. Speaking at a conference Saturday, Smart claimed that while enduring his teenage daughter’s kidnapping was “very difficult,” coming out as gay was “more difficult.”
“To have Elizabeth come back was huge. To have our family be able to move forward from that was huge,” he said. “And I was at a crossroads where I was going to be causing difficulty in my family.”
“I thought Elizabeth’s ordeal was very difficult,” Smart then added. “But this...this was more difficult.”
Sure my daughter was kidnapped and raped. Coming out is so much harder.— Caleb (@calebbrown32) December 8, 2019
- Ed Smart pic.twitter.com/DXjizNB3H4
To remind, Smart’s daughter, Elizabeth, was abducted at knifepoint from her own bedroom in 2002. Over the course of nine months, Elizabeth was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, during which she was raped daily, starved, force-fed garbage, alcohol and drugs, tied to a tree and threatened with death if she tried to escape. She was finally rescued after a passerby recognized her walking with Mitchell in town one day and reported it to the police.
But apparently to her father, none of that compares with being hailed as a national progressive hero for saying he likes men.