Chris Smith, The gay son of Indiana Republican Rep. Milo Smith, who advanced a successful bid to ban same-sex marriage in the state, has come forth on social media to express his “disappointment” with his father’s actions.
The state constitutional ban on marriage equality (“HJR-3”) passed 9-3 along party lines last week in the Elections and Apportionment Committee, chaired by Rep. Smith. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Indiana, but the bill, which will now advance to the House for a vote, would make the rules of marriage between a man and a woman official in the state’s constitution.
The younger Smith took to the Indiana Equality Facebook page to express his feelings after the measure was made public.
“Hello everyone. I am the gay son of Representative Milo Smith, chairman of the Elections Committee that just passed HJR-3 onto the full House,” he wrote.
“I'm not here to badmouth my dad. I'm terribly disappointed in his decision and beliefs, but he's not going to change them now if he hasn't after all these years of knowing I am gay. I am here to support you and my friends who remain in Indiana. They are my extended family.”
Chris Smith told the Indianapolis alternative newspaper Nuvo that he and his father have become closer in the past few years, but that he knew his father wasn’t accepting of his lifestyle.
"In the back of my mind, I knew his beliefs. He recently suggested a family gathering to include me and my boyfriend. We never really talked about my life to think he doesn't consider me as normal or equal," Chris said.
"I'm really sad. I'm embarrassed. I'm really disgusted by the whole thing. I'm confused as to what I should do,” he added.
During the HJR-3 hearing people from the public came forth with stories of gay friends or relatives, questioning whether the lawmakers would want to make their loved ones feel uncomfortable in Indiana. Nuvo reported that Rep. Smith betrayed no emotion during the proceedings.
"To hear all those stories of love and family – I couldn't understand hw people can sit there saying your love and family don't matter [because] it's our opinion that matters,” Chris said.