The Wife Of A Texas Anti-Gay Group’s President Leaves Him For Another Woman

jonathansaenz

A major player in the conservative movement in Texas may have a distinctly personal reason for hating homosexuality: his wife recently left him to begin a relationship with a woman. Ouch.

The Lone Star Q obtained court documents regarding conservative political activist and recently named president of the anti-gay group Texas Values, Jonathan Saenz’s split with his wife in 2011. During the divorce filings, it was revealed that Saenz’s wife had been engaged in a romantic relationship with a woman while the two were still married. Needless to say the deeply conservative, deeply religious Saenz didn’t handle it well.

His personal history with homosexuality may explain why the man went from merely “anti-gay” to full homophobe in the last few years. As Lone Star Q explains:

Saenz, a devout Catholic, has been a right-wing operative in Texas for many years — working on abortion and religious liberty cases as a staff attorney for the Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute as far back as 2005.

However, it wasn’t until recently that Saenz emerged as one of the state’s best-known — and most extreme — anti-LGBT voices.

Only a year later, Saenz pivoted from conservative jack-of-all-trades to anti-gay movement icon when he was named president of Texas Values, a spinoff of the preposterously offensive right-wing group, Liberty Legal Institute.

According to the divorce papers, Saenz had initially tried to bar his kids from even seeing his ex-wife’s girlfriend. He also wanted his ex-wife to undergo a psychological evaluation with a psychologist of his choosing before he would agree to let his kids live with her. Both requests were denied.

A regular on Fox, some of Saenz’s handiwork includes: vehemently opposing any workplace anti-discrimination protections for LGBT employees, pushing long-debunked myths which paints gay people as sexual deviants and potential pedophiles, and in at least one case claiming that “gay rights supporters” wanted to put opponents of LGBT equality in concentration camps.

“I’ve seen it. I’ve seen them try to do it with legislation here in Texas at the state level. It is a goal of theirs to put people in jail that disagree with homosexual marriage, without question – or the homosexual lifestyle.”

We recently reported on a legal document that was signed by 63 Texas Republicans that said gay marriage could some day lead to legal pedophilia and incest, guess who has been pushing that idea in Texas for years and helped write the document? Jonathan Saenz, that’s who.

“That’s what this effort is about, that’s what it will continue to be about. And make no mistake about it, if you redefine it and open the definition to where it’s not one man-one woman, I don’t see how you can limit it in any other way. I just don’t. The same type of equality arguments, so to speak, that are being made — the argument [that] it’s about people that love each other. How do you have any limitation on that? How do you stop polygamy? How do you stop people that want to do that with their own family members? Their stepchildren?”

He’s also a big advocate of Texas Republicans’ equally troubling position that homosexuality can be changed through conversion therapy.

“My heart breaks for you if you are currently choosing to live a sinful sexual lifestyle while also trying to convince others that it is also okay to live a sinful lifestyle without making any efforts to change or resist sin and temptation. You can make a decision today to ‘go and sin no more.’ It’s not too late. It’s never too late.”

It sounds a tad desperate, as if he is pleading with his ex-wife to come back. Unfortunately for Saenz, it doesn’t appear to have convinced the former Mrs. Saenz to change her ways. The divorce was finalized in 2013.

Despite the appalling rhetoric, media outlets appear to adore Saenz. According to Saenz’s biography page on the Texas Values website, he has “been featured in local, national and international media such as Fox News, CNN, USA Radio, Austin-American Statesman, Dallas Morning News, and Houston Chronicle among many others and is a sought after speaker for important events.”