June 18 (UPI) — Country star Rory Feek of Joey + Rory fame, spoke with CBS Sunday Morning about how he has accepted his lesbian daughter Hopie.
Rory, a devout Christian, is the father to three daughters, the grown-up Hopie and Heidi from a previous relationship and 4-year-old daughter Indiana whom he shares with his late wife Joey Feek. Joey died in March 2016 following her highly-publicized battle with cervical cancer.
Hopie came out as a lesbian to Rory days after Joey’s death after her father asked if something was bothering her. Hopie then explained that her friend Wendy was more than just a friend and that she was in love.
“She’s asking me, ‘Are you still going to love me?’ and my first reaction was, ‘I don’t think so,’” Rory said of his initial reaction. “Because my conservative Christian faith that has saved me, that has made it possible to have any joy and peace and love in my life, the first reaction is that that challenges that immensely.”
Rory explained however how he grew to accept Hopie and love all his children unconditionally.
“My job is to love her, even when it’s hard or even when I don’t agree or even if I don’t understand,” he said. “I still love her. I can still love her completely,” he said.
Rory also discussed how it felt to perform music again following his wife’s death. “Surreal and strange, a little wrong in some ways,” he said of appearing onstage without her.
The duo’s last album, Sunday Hymns That Are Important To Us, was Joey’s last recorded work before her death. The project went on to win the Grammy award for Best Roots Gospel Album in 2017.