188235_10151320046103506_320570711_nOn this historic day when the United States Supreme Court is considering the legality of gay marriage, we share with you our interview with Brett Bradshaw.  Brett is the son of longtime Mormon LGBT advocates Marge and William Bradshaw.  In this four-part interview Brett discusses:

  • Part 1: His early LDS years, his mission service, falling in love with his husband (Jeff), and his decision to leave the LDS church.
  • Part 2: His process of coming out as a gay man, and his thoughts on exploring sexuality in healthy ways
  • Part 3: His decision to marry Jeff, have a child (Madeline) via surrogacy, and his view on family values
  • Part 4: His thoughts on Mormonism, Proposition 8, Post-Mormonism, and social justice.

This episode is a co-production with the fabulous Daniel Parkinson of Gay Mormon Stories Podcast.



  1. Kevin March 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    I loved the mention of your dad wholeheartedly supporting the Vote No on Prop 8 campaign, Brett. I’m going to revisit John’s excellent interview with him from several years ago. When I was living in Idaho our ward high council representative earnestly and cheerfully instructed our high priest group to sign up to work the phones for Prop 8. For something so vigorously championed by the Church, Prop 8 felt awfully un-Christlike to me, not to mention it just smelled like it was going to be on the wrong side of history. The whole thing gave me jolt of cognitive dissonance. I don’t know if anyone else in the room had gay family members but I had a gay brother and his companion that we dearly love.

  2. Jessica Bischoff March 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Finished Parts 1 and 2 so far. I like this dude.

  3. Brad March 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Edified…Thanks so much for the interview.
    Thoughts after listening…

    “Diversity encounters the human experience facilitating expansion beyond predicable boundaries”.

    Should Hypocritical Pious attitudes be promoted as “Hate Crimes” as it relates to gay marriage?
    How many years ago was it that an old pious prophet said something about ” Death on the spot” if marriage was between the African race an the pasty white? What would that old bearded man say about gay marriage?
    History gives us a good view of how slowly society reacts to change. We need to change with the same pace as change comes. And don’t think LGBT lawful marriages will never be allowed nationally, it’s coming and it will take place. With that said, how many people will society marginalize and deconstruct, hurt and oppress and maybe lose before we change?
    Oh that’s right, we need follow religious dogma and oppress the advisory in the name of god.
    Lastly, not one single LGBT marriage has degraded my “straight marriage” .

    • Alan Crist March 29, 2013 at 9:38 am - Reply

      With all due respect, that is a totally false equivalency. You’re taking something concrete–the money supply–and doing something concrete that will, by definition, dilute its value. Marriage isn’t a commodity that has some set value that has to be shared by all its participants. By that logic, if I could be married and keep others from doing so, my marriage would be somehow worth more. Maybe I’d feel more special in some twisted way, but it’s still poor reasoning.

      What you actually seem to be saying is that by allowing gays to marry, it will cause you and I to think less of our own marriages or to ignore the value of marriage as an institution, although I can’t for the life of me see why.

      A better analogy would appear to be a club that only allows a certain class of person in, arguing that their club will no longer be special if the “riff raff” is allowed to belong. The difference here is that a private club is allowed to discriminate according to sex, race, or economic class. However, I would contend that marriage isn’t something owned by a class of people simply by virtue of them being straight and in the majority. And no, the “club” will not be ruined if we allow our gay brothers and sisters to join.

  4. Utahhiker801 March 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    I listened to all four parts of this podcast. I’m incredibly impressed with Brett Bradshaw. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. I’m very pleased that the world is moving towards marriage equality.

    A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to dinner with some friends. My teenage daughter asked, “Now, are John and Jeff roommates?” “No. They’re partners.” “Oh, okay. That makes sense.” And then the conversation just moved on.

    I never saw examples of this as a child, and I believe her world is better for knowing people like John and Jeff.

  5. Brad March 30, 2013 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Personal opinion:
    50 % of all marriages end in divorce= zero value to society
    ( -50 + 50=0) if marriage can relate to a monetary value…

    If I and my family were to die and only a daughter was to survive…and I had to choose between a divorced straight couple or two loving married gay men raising my daughter? Sorry, gay wins.
    Sadly, some three years ago I would have been posting anti-LGBT sentiments. My son, when in college, was an activist supporting LGBT lifestyles and I didn’t understand how he could have wondered in that direction. His activism moved me to analyze my thinking process and consider what may have conditioned my biases. What I found in myself was a right wing conservative bigoted pious leftover living in a dogmatic haze of religion. To be clear, after three decades of a straight marriage, I would not consider a LGBT lifestyle, not wired that way.
    I did find myself in need of an attitude adjustment and that is where I am now, not just defending the LGBT’s in society, moreover embracing charity and the defense of diversity in society, hopefully in a more humanistic way of thinking and attitude.

  6. Andrew March 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    What I find repugnant, in this otherwise excellent and soul searching podcast, is how the LDS Church gets away with very little criticism throughout, yet it is obviously directly responsible for all the heartache and personal tragedies that result from its past and current doctrines. John did not shrink in suggesting and highlighting some of the highly controversial and insulting views that the Church and its members have on alternative lifestyles. Yet the LDS Church, the very source of this relentless psychological cruelty and inhumanity, gets hardly a mention and indeed an easy passage throughout this interview. The corruption of unrighteous judgement rests solely with the LDS organisation, and not with its people who feel they must always obey, whatever the consequences.

  7. JeremiahA April 1, 2013 at 4:32 am - Reply

    I will try to keep this short. Marriage Deconstructionists are those who hold the view that marriage is a social convention that can be anything culture defines it to be, an invention of culture. In other words, marriage has a fixed, natural teleology or it does not. Marriage supporters claim the former while Deconstructionists claim the latter.

    As for Loving v. Virginia, you bring up a fair point. The problem, however, is that the circumstances that this point is based on are not the same for both interracial marriage and same-sex marriage (which is also why this objection will not work to justify polygamous or incestuous marriages.) Same-sex marriage and interracial marriage have nothing in common. There is no difference between humans of different ethnic origins because skin color is completely trivial. There is an enormous functional, psychological, and physiological differences, however, between men and women. Ethnicity has no bearing on marriage. Therefore, laws against interracial marriages prevented the essential public purpose of marriage from being fulfilled, which is to tie mother and fathers to each other and to their children. Having an African American marry a Caucasian does not impact that function in any way.

    And on a side note…Harry Jaffa of the Center for the Study of Natural Law pointed out that, in America, there were those who were considered three-fifths of a person, though nature and reason informed all that a human being is not a horse or an ox and should not be treated as such. With the same voice, nature and reason informs all that men and women are different but complementary and so ethical sexual relations can only be formed by such.

    This puts Marriage Deconstructionists (same-sex, polygynous, polyandrous, group, etc. “marriage” activists) in a conundrum. There is no argument where they can condemn slavery without condemning their own position on marriage. They either have to give up the argument against slavery or give up the argument supporting deconstructing marriage.

    • Utahhiker801 April 1, 2013 at 7:31 am - Reply

      “But Honey, I can’t go to bed yet. There’s someone on the internet who’s wrong.”

      • JeremiahA April 2, 2013 at 11:00 am - Reply

        Yep, telling someone they are wrong is breaking one of the three post-modern commandments. Another is you can do what you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone. And you can do whatever you want with someone else as long as they consent.

        And breaking one of these will bring down the post-modern fiery hell upon you.

    • Brian April 4, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

      I don’t think it’s that big of a conundrum. I understand that “marriage” as a tradition has been an institution designed to bring Mothers and Fathers together and provide them with an incentive to raise children and stay together. However, lots of exceptions are provided for individuals who won’t have children, can’t have children, divorce, etc.

      The purpose of “binding individuals together” to raise children doesn’t always succeed, but that’s okay, we make exceptions for those people. Extending those exceptions towards gay people (who consist of 3-8% of the population?) would mean an enormous change to marriage, completely contradictory to it’s purpose. But it still wouldn’t have any real effect on the continuation of marriage’s “traditional” purpose. Divorce is also completely contradictory to the purpose, but we make exceptions for it simply because it creates a more fair and balanced system living in a modern world. Are there consequences to loosening the rules, and extending certain privileges to those who are in less fortunate situations? sure there are consequences, some negative even. But that’s not going to stop us from moving forward to create a more inclusive and fair society.

      • JeremiahA April 5, 2013 at 6:08 am - Reply

        One of the beautiful things about marriage is its inclusivity and fairness. We can all marry the person we love, depending on how many people we wish to marry, whether or not we are currently married, their age, their sex, their familial relationship with us, their immigration status and paperwork, whether they can appear with us to pick up the marriage license, and so on. We all share the same rights and restrictions equally.

        However, to move forward in society, the threats to the integrity of marriage as an important social institution need to be addressed, specifically no-fault divorce, cohabitation, and same-sex marriage. In divorce, we find only a slight deviation from the ideal of a life-long marriage commitment. In other words, divorce only exists as a safety outlet if something goes wrong. No-fault divorce, however, greatly weakened an intrinsic part of marriage, life-long commitment. Most people who cohabit expect someday to marry, whether it is with the person they are living with or not, so the ideal of marriage here continues to remain intact. Same-sex marriage, unlike no-fault divorce and cohabitation, is a complete deviation from marriage, as are the other forms included in Marriage Deconstructionism, since it unhinges marriage from any objective standard.

        If marriage is not anything in particular but is merely defined by society in a way that the definition can change to meet changing conditions, then no one argue that marriage must include a life-long relationship of sexual fidelity, for example. No one can even argue that marriage must be based on consent, because who are we to impose our own dogmatic definition of marriage upon others who do not happen to conform to our narrow views of morality?

        Let us hope and strive for society moving toward marriage stability.

        • Brian April 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm - Reply

          I would hardly consider the requirement of “consent” to be dogmatic. You can’t force your will on another individual.

          When you look at the current situation that marriage is in, it’s detachment from religion and procreation, I would say same-sex marriage is the result of this “deconstruction,” rather than it’s continuation. The shift from it’s familial purpose to an individualist perception has already occurred. And it wasn’t gay people who caused this shift, it was straight folks like Romeo and Juliet, the feminists, and those free-loving hippies.

          Take “The Bachelor” (and all romance films) as the perfect example for the current idea of marriage, completely detached from any Institutional state apparatus or procreative incentive. For a very long time now Marriage has been primarily about the emotional gratification between two individuals. Same sex marriage is the result of this shift, not the cause. The new perception of marriage has had many benefits, but also many negative consequences for society. But like it or not, it’s the new norm, with or without gay marriage, and it’s one we’re just going to have to adapt to.

  8. […] Brett Bradshaw- Gay Marriage and Fatherhood With all of the marriage equality talk lately this was interesting. Brett Bradshaw is a former Mormon who left the LDS Church after coming to the realization that he is gay. This is the story of his journey. […]

  9. Brad April 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    The deconstruction of marriage started when it began, the first deconstruct of marriage occurred when society allowed divorce (not Ethical). I would presume society is trying to hold on to something that is already lost by the definition in its purity. Nevertheless, we love to blame others (you know the liberal fringe) for lost virtue. Society accepts deviation from their apparent abnormalities and self deconstruction and idolizes its own decay as a societal norm. Unwelcome abnormalities are demonized as the apparent cause for society’s failures and placed upon the fringe to convey sorrow of lost virtues.

    The real sorrow is society marginalizing other Humans in an attempt uphold their own moral superiority. The garbage society hurls is nothing more than their own cesspool hitting the fan.

  10. Coletta Safranek May 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Whether you’re expecting your first child or your kids are grown and on their own, being a dad is a new experience. When my wife was pregnant, we decided to have a homebirth. We hired a doula and two midwives. I won’t tell you how much it cost. According to them and other experts, labor was going to last 10-12 hours. My son had other plans. My wife’s labor was so short that the only other person in the room when he was born was – guess who? – me. After nine months of preparing to support my wife in the birth of my first child, there I was, with no medical training, serving as midwife, doula, and doctor. I fought off the strong desire to run out of the room as fast as possible. When I caught Joaquin, I experienced pure exhilaration and love. -`

    Up to date post on our blog

  11. Rose Marie June 6, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    I’m almost 80, grew up with the “gay is horrible” attitude. I have a grandson and a nephew that are gay. I love them dearly and they are wonderful young men. I can no longer agree with the beliefs of my background. I started off listening to Bill Bradshaw’s story and now listened to Brett. I can now say that my outlook on the right or wrong of someone “being gay” is completely changed. Thank you to all the Bradshaw’s for sharing their lives with us and helping me to understand that being gay is not a choice. It is like having red hair and freckles – it just came along with the body.

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