[Editor's note: In a meeting with Madison Police detectives on Monday, Oct. 29, Kyle Wood recanted his story of being attacked. Read our report for more details.]
News that a gay campaign worker for Republican congressional candidate Chad Lee was beaten this week at his Madison home has attracted national attention after it was reported in The Daily Caller on Thursday morning. Kyle Wood has said he was attacked due to his sexual and political orientations.
An attempt to reach Wood through the Lee campaign was not immediately successful. But the campaign provided a statement it had issued earlier condemning the "vicious" attack and calling Wood "an invaluable member of our team." The campaign said it could not comment further on any details as the incident was under investigation by the Madison Police Department.
Wood figured prominently in a recent Isthmus cover story on the Madison Mormon community. In the piece, Wood recounts how he grew up Amish, on his family's horse-breeding farm in northern Minnesota, but hasn't spoken to his family in 13 years since telling them he was gay. He also shares how he was once married to a man but is now committed to the Mormon faith.
"I can't explain to you exactly why I believe," Wood told author Seth Jovaag, "other than at some point I stopped not believing it."
Jovaag reported that Wood was baptized last July even though the church prohibits sex before marriage and forbids gay marriage. That means Wood faces a lifetime of chastity.
"That part sucks," Wood admitted.
But Wood said he found a real sense of community within the Mormon church. "Honestly, I can say the church is the place where I've felt the most accepted in my entire life. I completely gained a family."