SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (WBTW) – Elizabeth Smart’s father has come out as gay and says he plans to separate from his wife and church.
Ed Smart, kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart’s father, announced he is gay in a letter posted on Facebook, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Ed Smart also said he is planning to leave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to separate from his wife.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports they’ve not seen the letter, but Ed Smart confirmed that he sent the letter. Ed Smart reportedly declined to answer questions on Thursday, but said his letter would be made public Friday.
According to the newspaper, court records indicated that Smart’s wife, Lois Smart, filed for divorce on July 5.
“While I am deeply saddened by their separation, nothing could change my love and admiration for them both. Their decisions are very personal. As such, I will not pass judgment and rather am focusing on loving and supporting them and the other members of my family,” Elizabeth Smart said. “My parents taught me as a young child that they would love me unconditionally no matter what happened.”
Deseret News reports the Ed Smart wrote in the letter “living with the pain and guilt I have for so many years, not willing to accept the truth about my orientation has at times brought me to the point where I questioned whether life was still worth living.”