A video of local church leaders turns off the microphone while a young Mormon girl reveals to her congregation that he is homosexual and still loved by God raises controversies over LGBT community.
Savannah, 13, opened up about her feelings and how she was blessed to have heavenly parents during a once-a-month portion of Mormon Sunday services on May 7 in Eagle Mountain, Utah.
“They did not mess up when they gave me freckles or when they made me be gay.” she said. “God loves me just this way.”
The mother, Heather Kester, said Friday that her daughter has been looking forward to coming out as a lesbian in the church to support and represent LGBT children who struggle with sexual orientation and for acceptance in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The mother also reveals that she is not a Mormon herself. However, Savannah and her father shared the religion’s background. As per Savannah’s mother’s request, Savannah’s full name would be sealed to maintain her privacy.
The Mormon religion is considered as highly conservative faith groups with theological opposition to same-sex relationships, although the acceptance that went rampant across the U.S. and media. The Mormon Church carries out attempts to promote an empathetic stance toward LGBT people.
The video shows Savannah reading from written notes, saying, “I do not choose to be this way and this is not a fad.” Savannah said on May 7. “I cannot make someone else gay … I believe that God wants us to treat each other with kindness, even if people are different, especially if they are different.”
Her microphone was turned off after about two minutes — shortly after she maintained that she is not a “horrible sinner” and that she is looking forward to finding a wife and start a family with her. The 13-year-old girl turned around to listen to a man in a suit before she walked down from the pulpit.
Kester said her daughter came and cried in her lap. She told her she was beautiful and that God loved her, Kester said.
“I was devastated for her,” said Kester, adding. “I was angry at how that was handled.”
Scott Gordon, president of FairMormon, a volunteer organization that supports the church wrote a blog post to defend the church’s situation.
Gordon said Savannah is free to come out as gay during testimony, but that she went too far when she denied that church teachings by saying God would want her to have a partner and get married.
“While you can believe almost anything you want to believe, you can’t preach it from the pulpit.” Gordon said.