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Anti-Gay Leader's Wife Left Him for a Woman

Lone Star Q reports on Jonathan Saenz's transformation to 'homophobic firebrand'
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2014 12:56 PM CDT
Anti-Gay Leader's Wife Left Him for a Woman
A file photo of Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values.   (AP Photo/Richard Rodriguez)

Jonathan Saenz had been a nondescript conservative lobbyist in Texas—until he learned of his wife's lesbian relationship, Lone Star Q reports. After the revelation, he became one of his state's "most extreme" anti-gay voices, writes John Wright. Specifically, Saenz became president of the Texas Values group, known for fighting same-sex marriage and ordinances against LGBT bullying. Court documents of Saenz's contentious two-year divorce from ex-wife Corrine may "explain Saenz’s seemingly abrupt transformation … to homophobic firebrand," says Wright. Corrine filed for divorce in 2011; it was settled last year. A February 2012 court order mentions Corrine's girlfriend, Ercimin Paredes, though Saenz accused his wife of starting the affair in 2010, according to court documents. He became head of Texas Values in early 2012.

During the divorce, Saenz requested his wife be evaluated by a shrink known for working with sex offenders, and sought details about dates, travel, and presents exchanged with Paredes, emails between the pair, and their work schedules. He tried—and temporarily succeeded until the order was overturned—to keep Paredes away from his three kids. In the end, Paredes wasn't included in the Saenz's final divorce decree and it grants both Saenz and his ex-wife joint custody. The Huffington Post lists some of Saenz's beliefs: that same-sex marriage applies to incest and polygamy, activists want Christians in concentration camps, and gay conversion therapy works. It also notes that Reddit had a field day with the story. (More LGBT stories.)

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