On May 7, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Eagle Mountain, Utah was having a normal church service. That particular day included a once-a-month portion of Sunday services where members are encouraged to share feelings and beliefs. It is called Fast Sunday, a day when Mormons typically hold testimonial meetings.
Savannah, 12, decided to take the opportunity to share her story with her fellow congregation. She decided she wanted to come out to her church. For her, it was an opportunity to share who she really is to her congregation. She wanted them to know that she is a good person regardless of who she ends up in a relationship with as an adult.
When she was asked why she wanted to do this, she replied,
I want to be a voice for those that might be positive. I want them to know that I’m an ally. That they’re safe with me. I want them to know that it’s OK to be Mormon and be gay.
Her mother was leery of allowing her to make her testimonial, but read over her daughter’s prepared remarks and found them to be appropriate.
Savannah spoke proudly to the church congregation about her feelings. In part, she said,
I hope to find a partner and have a great job. I hope to get married and have a family. I know these dreams and wishes are good and right. I know I can have all of these things as a lesbian and be happy.
Soon after, her microphone cut off. Thinking there was a technical error, she asked the man behind her what was going on and he told her that she needed to sit down.
The Mormons have been steadfastly against same-sex marriage, although they have recently come around saying that being gay is acceptable – that “God loves his children.” However, the church still stands firm that gay sex still has its religious consequences. Apparently, not all churches are on board with this school of thought. Poor Savannah was distraught she didn’t get to finish her testimony. Maybe it’s time for her and her family find a new church – one where she will be accepted as is and will be allowed to speak about it.