LILBURN, Ga. – The gay son of the founder of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue was killed this week in a head-on car crash outside Atlanta, authorities said.
Jamiel Terry, 31, was killed last week in Lilburn, according to a statement from campaign aides to Randall Terry, a longtime abortion opponent who founded the organization in the 1980s and is now running for president.
“Jamiel had a brilliant mind, and was a gentle soul,” Randall Terry said in the statement. “And as anyone knows who has spent time with him, he was funny, articulate, and a formidable debater on many topics.”
Jamiel Terry made headlines in 2004 when he announced that he was gay, a lifestyle at odds with his father’s political views.
Randall Terry acknowledged the controversy in his statement this week, but said the rift between them had been misrepresented in the media and the two had maintained frequent contact.
“We had recently agreed to hold joint speaking events at colleges and other venues, to discuss and debate the issues that are dear to us as a father and son lecture team,” he said. “I wish to God we had been able to do even one of them.”
A funeral Mass is planned for Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Lawrenceville.
Jamiel Terry’s body will be flown to Rochester, N.Y. and a service there will be held before he is buried in New York on Dec. 7, campaign officials said. They said details of the New York service would be announced when they are finalized.