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Mormon parents who supported Prop 8, now fight on behalf of their gay son

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Mormon’s family’s struggle to reconcile its faith with full acceptance of their son’s sexual identity is at the heart of the video “Families Are Forever,” which premieres at Frameline 37: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival this weekend.

In advance of the screening, ABC News profiles Wendy and Tom Montgomery, who canvassed in 2008 to advocate for the passage of Proposition 8, the state referendum that overturned the ruling that allowed same-sex couples to marry in California, and is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

That was before the Montgomery’s learned that their now 14-year-old son, Jordan, was gay and would later contemplate suicide because of the church’s steadfast belief that homosexuality is a sin that would cut him off from his family not only here on earth but in the afterlife.

Jordan Montgomery


“I was mortified at the idea of being disowned by my parents,” Jordan says in “Families Are Forever.” “I was like, I do not want to be thrown out of my home. I definitely expected to be excommunicated and restricted from church. But I still wanted to be with the church, like, I’d grown up with it, it was my life … until now.”

Until about age 13, Jordan had been the “happiest, most exuberant child,” according to his mother, but then he began to withdraw from friends and family. Looking for answers, she found an entry in his journal describing his attraction to other boys, though he had never acted on those urges.

The discovery shook his mother to the core.

“I felt like what I saw his life would be – what I expected his life to be – as a Mormon boy was now gone,” she says in the video. “I saw him preparing for a mission for our church – gone. I saw a temple wedding – gone. I saw him being a father – gone.”

Suddenly their son’s conflict and depression made sense to the Montgomerys. But the church’s view on homosexuality confused her: “God views it as a sin,” she says in “Families Are Forever.” “But I looked at a boy who had never done anything wrong, a pure innocent child, no way sinning or choosing this.”

The 20-minute film was produced by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, and is part of a planned series of short documentaries that depict the journey of ethnically and religiously diverse families to support their LGBT children.

Watch a preview of the film below, and find the ABC News profile here.

Wendy Montgomery said she has hope for Jordan’s future, and the family is stronger because of their journey.

“I am a better person for having a gay son,” she said. “I love differently, and I love more openly. I didn’t realize the judgment I had before I realized that having a gay son was a great blessing and not a burden.”

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33 more reader comments:

  1. Conservatives only care when it happens to them

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:20pm
  2. This just makes me laugh.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:21pm
  3. Well, what took you so long ! ;o) Welcome aboard all True supporters of Equality ;o)

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:23pm
  4. The Montgomery family are wonderful! I am glad I get to see them every time I go to a Pflag meeting!

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:25pm
  5. Great story

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:27pm
  6. So, are they no longer Mormons?

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:29pm
  7. Now, if they would just drop the Mormonism…

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:30pm
  8. It’s too bad that some people follow religion without questioning, however this is a good story (it could have gone totally opposite). At least these parents learned from their son and it wasn’t too late like sooo many Christian families face (a child’s suicide, means the adults have failed them).

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:32pm
  9. Such B.S. I’m sick and tired of hearing about all these uber conservative a**holes who don’t give a rat’s patoot until it affects them, then all of a sudden they are bestowed all these kudos for being lgbt “crusaders”. Little late to the party aren’t you , Montgomery family, et al?

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:41pm
  10. I give them credit for accepting their son for who he has to be and putting their family needs first instead of the church.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:41pm
  11. Wendy is a great mom who saw past her short sightedness

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:49pm
  12. you got that right..

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:54pm
  13. God bless these parents and their acceptance of their precious son.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 4:00pm
  14. You do not know the Montgomery family to be making such a comment. You shouldn’t be making judgements about others without knowing what they have been through.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 4:02pm
  15. Read the moms story..hes right.people bash until oops im so sorry for I said..its crap..there shouldn’t be hate at all day one.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 4:06pm
  16. religion makes nuts … drop the religion, just love your son

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 4:34pm
  17. Moron parents is more like it

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 4:37pm
  18. And many don’t care even then; my family would disown me if they knew…so they don’t know…that I’m not straight, not Christian, and certainly not Conservative. ;)

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 5:10pm
  19. Gin, I hope you are surrounded with love elsewhere, it is tough when your own family doesn’t know the real you.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 5:15pm
  20. brilliant

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 5:57pm
  21. They have no shame. Fraking live what you believe. Suddenly when its THEIR family, it is an issue of equality

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 6:15pm
  22. The mormons filtered money from all over to deny gays rights in Cali’s prop 8. This particular behavior, on their part, was DISGRACEFUL. SHAME!!! So not Christ like

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 6:19pm
  23. Bravo to the parents!!

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 6:39pm
  24. Yes, Virginia, there are Gay Mormons. We ARE everywhere, in every walk of life, profession, religion, young, old, good, bad, ugly everything along those continuums.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 6:46pm
  25. Let’s sart a referendum against Christians marrying on another.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 6:47pm
  26. I’m a straight republican, with a straight so far child, and your statement does not ring true in my case, my point is, blanket statements like this only breed hate and lies, not the love we all truly wish to educate with. Don’t hate, educate….I support all LGBT in this way.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 6:59pm
  27. All similar stories should have this ending. It’s nice to see something positive

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:10pm
  28. Wow, talk about swift karma. Good thing they’ve learned a lesson.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:54pm
  29. God Bless you yong man you have my support

    Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 3:13am
  30. well, imagine that!

    Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 5:12am
  31. See? Bigotry can be unlearned, with the right motivation!

    Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 5:27am
  32. This is very touching….a must watch!!

    Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 6:16am
  33. Someone has finally seen the light!

    Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 8:08am