BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

lgbt

This Alabama Father Shared A Heartbreaking Story About His Gay Daughter's Suicide To Condemn Roy Moore

"How is my daughter a pervert just because she’s gay?”

Posted on December 12, 2017, at 3:50 p.m. ET

On Monday, NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard posted a video to Twitter of a father condemning Roy Moore outside the Senate candidate's rally in Midland City, Alabama. He shared a deeply personal story of losing his gay daughter to suicide at the age of 23.

Father, who says he's a local peanut farmer in Wicksburg, outside Roy Moore rally talks about losing his gay daught… https://t.co/VwYfHRxA1B

The father and local peanut farmer, who identified himself as Nathan Mathis, held a photo of his daughter, Patti Sue Mathis. He also carried a sign calling out Roy Moore's allegedly predatory behavior toward minors.

In the clip, he equates Moore’s recent comments about the LGBT community to calling gay people “perverts."

"Judge Roy Moore called her a pervert on one reason — because she was gay," he states in the video, which has been viewed over 3 million times since being shared on Monday.

“This is something people need to stop and think about," Mathis continues. “You’re supposed to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution said all men were created equal, but how is my daughter a pervert just because she’s gay?”

@VaughnHillyard His sign calling Roy Moore out for his predatory behavior

"We don't need a man like that representing us in Washington," he said.

Mathis, who described himself as a man of faith, stated that in the past he had also held "anti-gay" beliefs — feelings that he now deeply regrets.

"I said bad things to my daughter myself, which I regret," he explained. "I can't take back what happened to my daughter."

"Somebody had to speak up and if it's to no avail, so be it," Mathis said of his decision to show up at the rally.

Twitter: @VaughnHillyard

Mathis has some political experience himself, having served in the Alabama House of Representatives as a Democrat from 1982 through 1994.

Many on Twitter praised the father's bravery in speaking out on such a personal topic.

Others even shared stories of their own children coming out of the closet to them:

Twitter users also began sharing a letter Mathis had written in 2012 to the editor of a local newspaper, which detailed how his personal views changed after losing his daughter.

This is Mr. Mathis's letter he wrote to the editor about his lesbian daughter whom he lost to suicide. https://t.co/Ze34CkKlFx

In the letter, Mathis recounts when he learned his daughter, a high school senior at the time, was gay.

“I confronted Patti and I said some things to her that still eat on me to this day. I told her I was sorry that I said those mean things to her."

After his daughter killed herself in 1995, Mathis wrote that he stopped attending church as often, as he couldn't stand sitting through an anti-gay sermon.

"I was ashamed of myself for sitting there and not defending Patti. I have not been much since."

"My daughter was a good person, my daughter was not a pervert like Roy Moore called her," Mathis said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

Roy Moore “does not deserve to be in the US Senate... The man needs to be in a psych ward somewhere,” says Alabama… https://t.co/M1PgORQ4tR

Voters in Alabama will decide between Republican candidate Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones today.

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

ADVERTISEMENT