Putting their past behind them. Elizabeth Smart’s parents, Ed and Lois Smart, have officially finalized their divorce after 34 years of marriage.
Ed, 64, and Lois, 62, tied the knot in 1986, but it was Lois who filed for divorce from her longtime spouse on July 5. Their marriage was terminated with Salt Lake County Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, according to legal documents obtained by Us Weekly. Details regarding the terms of their separation were not mentioned in the settlement.
In the midst of Elizabeth’s parents’ divorce battle, Ed — who became a child safety advocate after the activist was kidnapped in 2002 at 14 — came out as gay. He disclosed the news in a Facebook post in August, where he wrote that he had “recently acknowledged” his orientation to himself and his family. He also said that “decision to be honest and truthful” about this part of his life came with its “challenges,” but he regarded coming to terms with his sexuality as “a huge relief.”
In sharing his truth, he admitted that he has attempted to ignore his true feelings. “I didn’t want to face the feelings I fought so hard to suppress, and didn’t want to reach out and tell those being ostracized that I too am numbered among them. But I cannot do that any longer,” he continued. “Some will say that I have wasted my years here by not coming out sooner. Others have said, ‘you’re giving up so much for so little, and you know how the Lord feels about gays.’”
Ed added, “They have concluded that I’ve chosen to waste my remaining years by leaving behind some rich and amazing gifts. Both are inaccurate and fail to do justice to the deep conflict involved in not being honest with myself and others, for so long.”
Ed then took the opportunity to praise Lois, whom he noted “has been a loyal wife and extraordinary mother” and who he said has “had to endure an impossible part of this journey.” He also announced his plan to part ways with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, noting that he no longer finds “solace” there.
“My parents taught me as a young child that they would love me unconditionally no matter what happened,” the 31-year-old My Story author’s statement read. “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.”
Since becoming an openly gay man, Ed regarded being able to accept himself as his second “miracle,” with the first occurring when his daughter, now a married mother of three, was rescued nine months after being abducted.
“As broken as I had felt for years and years trying to deal with this struggle inside of me I found that no, I’m not broken,” he said while speaking during the Encircle Summit on December 7, according to NBC affiliate KSL-TV. “The situation is I’m gay and I’m trying to be straight. I’m trying to be the straightest I possibly can be.”
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