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Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart: "There is no cure" for being gay

Ed Smart: "There is no cure" for being gay
Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart: "There is no cure" for being gay 03:47

Elizabeth Smart's father says there's something he has to talk about — 17 years after his daughter's kidnapping and miraculous rescue. Ed Smart is revealing how he struggled to come out as gay in an emotional interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King. The 64-year-old, who was married to his former wife, Lois, for 34 years, told us how difficult it was to reconcile his faith with his feelings.

"I went to therapists. I went to my church leaders. I mean, I literally called my bishop up one morning, and I said, 'You know, I feel like I've stabbed Lois in the heart,'" Smart told King in his first network television interview about his sexuality. "And I went to my other church leader, and I said to him, 'So am I gay? Am I gay?' And he said to me, 'I don't think so.' He said, 'You know, there's this spectrum.'"

"When he said, 'I don't think you're gay,' did you feel relieved at hearing that? You're thinking, 'Okay, maybe I'm not'?" King asked.

"Yes," Smart responded. "I was praying that I was not. I didn't want to believe that I was. But how do you cure being gay?  There is no cure. And for all of those out there that are struggling in the same spot, there is no cure."

That's the reason he's speaking out about his experience, Smart said.

"This is absolutely not a 'choice.' And I wish my wife knew that. I wish that more than anything," he said.

Smart said he had found men to be attractive throughout the course of his life, but he was "taught that that was not acceptable."

"That that was something that you were a deviant. You were a bad person if you thought those things," he said, adding, "I never wanted to identify as being gay. I never wanted that to be part of me. Why would God give this to me? Why would I have to endure this in life?"

Watch more of Smart's conversation with King on Wednesday, Dec. 11 on "CBS This Morning" where he shares about the difficult process in coming out to his loved ones.

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