An Alabama man whose lesbian daughter killed herself took a final stand Tuesday morning against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore as polls opened across his state.
Moore, who has denied accusations of molesting a 14-year-old girl and pursuing relationships with other teens when he was in his 30s, should be in "the psych ward somewhere with a psychiatrist trying to help him get better," Nathan Mathis told CNN.
Photos of Mathis protesting Monday night while holding a picture of his late daughter outside Moore's final campaign rally quickly took off on Twitter. Appearing Tuesday on CNN's "New Day," Mathis continued to rail against Moore, who is known for staunch opposition to LGBT rights.
"I feel guilty about my daughter taking her own life, about what I said," Mathis told anchor Alisyn Camerota, referring to his own previous anti-gay stance, which he addressed in a 2012 letter to The Dothan Eagle.
Mathis accused Moore of hypocrisy for judging the LGBT community, in light of the allegations against him.
"He don't need to be in Washington DC," Mathis said.
'I realize how wrong that was'
Mathis said he learned first-hand how damaging anti-LGBT rhetoric can be, and he credited that revelation for his own change of heart.
"What happened to me could happen to you. It could happen to anybody that's watching this program," he said. "It could be your child, your grandchild, your great-grandchild. Are you going to vote for a man that calls your child or grandchild a pervert just because they're born gay?"
"My daughter was a good person," he said. "My daughter was not no damn pervert, as Roy Moore called her. And Roy Moore, by going at little teenage girls, he does not deserve to be the in United States Senate. It's just that simple."
In 2005, Moore said that "homosexual conduct should be illegal." In September 2016, he was suspended without pay for the rest of his term as Alabama chief justice for directing probate judges to enforce the state's ban on same-sex marriage following the landmark Supreme Court ruling that made the institution legal in all 50 states.
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