A young girl had her microphone cut off and was asked to leave the pulpit after coming out to her Mormon church.
Savannah, a 12-year-old Mormon, took to the stage at her church near Salt Lake City, Utah, and told the watching congregation that she was gay.
She delivering an uplifting speech stating her belief that God wants people to be kind to one another despite their differences, but was quickly silenced and told to sit back down, leaving her in tears.
Savannah began her speech by saying: “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.”
She continued: “I cannot make someone else gay and being around me won’t make anyone else this way.
“I believe that God wants us to treat each other with kindness, even if people are different.”
The watching congregation had begun murmouring at the mention of Savannah’s sexuality, and shortly afterwards her microphone was silenced.
The young girl initially appeared confused, tapping the microphone before it became clear that she was being asked to leave the stage.
Once she had left, another man began preaching, making no mention of Savannah’s speech or removal from the pulpit.
Savannah later told podcast ‘I Like to Look for Rainbows’ that she had been left embarrassed at being cut off mid-way through the speech, which she had spent weeks working on.
“I was sad because I wanted to finish it, and I felt like what I was saying should’ve been heard by everybody else,” she said.
“I was happy because I could finally get out to everyone and show that gays aren’t weirdos.’
“I only had a couple more sentences of a paragraph to read out loud and I got cut off by my microphone being turned off by the stake president.”