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It all started about 10 years ago when McLean’s youngest son told his family that he was gay.
“He was hoping that if he was good enough, prayed hard enough, served faithfully as a missionary, and kept the commandments that he’d somehow experience a miracle and become straight,” says McLean. “It’s tough enough to be a gay kid in a straight world, but being the son of the songwriting icon of the Mormon Church was impossible for him. The pain was so deep that he’d considered suicide.”
To make matters more difficult, McLean and his wife, Lynne, were living in Malibu, California, when Church members in the state were campaigning to pass Proposition 8—which would only legally recognize marriages between a man and a woman.
“I would hear from the pulpit that faithful Christians needed to save the family and the future of our country and campaign for votes for this proposition,” he recalls. Meanwhile, his son was planning to marry his partner at McLean’s home if the proposition failed.
“This would have been tough for any parent, but for the songwriting apologist filmmaker for the Church, this was simply an impossible spot to be in,” he says. “I needed answers to save my family. I prayed like I had never prayed before.”
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