Savannah, a twelve-year-old member of a Salt Lake City Mormon congregation, made a courageous decision to 'come out' in temple this past Sunday. She originally mentioned that she wanted to do this in January of this year, but it took until May to convince her parents that this was the right path for her to travel. She carefully crafted her speech to convey her true feelings. The response from the stake president was not what she had expected.
The LDS Church, no matter what they profess, wants none of this progress. And their actions depict that reality. Savannah spoke these words this past Sunday.
‘I believe I was made the way I am, all parts of me, by my heavenly parents.
‘They did not mess up when they gave me brown eyes, or when I was born bald. They did not mess up when they gave me freckles or when they made me to be gay.
‘God loves me just this way because I believe that he loves all his creations. I do believe he made me this way on purpose, no part of me is a mistake.’
People began whispering to one another while Savannah talked about her sexuality before the microphone cut out as she spoke about how God would want her to be happy.
She appeared confused and tapped the microphone before it became clear that they wanted to silence her and she was told to sit down.
Her mother, Heather, explained what happened next.
“She came off crying to me. We both walked out of the hall, and I held her face in my hands and told her over and over that she is perfect and good, that there is nothing wrong with who she is, that she is brave and beautiful,” she added.
”I was angry that they chose to hurt her for whatever reason they had.
“My husband and I both were reluctant to let her share her testimony because of the potential rejection. She asked to do it in January, we finally agreed in May.
“She had worked so hard at perfecting it so that it would portray exactly how she felt. We decided to let her do it because we thought it would be more harmful to silence her or give her reason to feel she is wrong in any way.”
The Mormon church is following the lead of the GOP and fighting to keep the old order that excludes and harms far too many people.
Peace and praise to Savannah and all who bravely stand up for who they are, and peace and praise to those who, because of people like those in that LDS congregation, feel silenced. This. Bigotry. Must. End.