During the 1980’s, as an AIDS pandemic exploded, Smith Jr. embraced members of the gay community from nearby Laguna Beach.
The father on homosexuality: ‘It is the final affront against God.’
The son: ‘I met homosexuals who were trying to live celibate lives or be heterosexual, and I heard all about their struggles, and I never wanted to exacerbate that. My heart went out to them. Listening convinced me that homosexual orientation is not something people chose.’
It’s another example of how each successive generation tends to have a more enlightened understanding of homosexuality than the previous one. Even within the conservative church.