Mormon girl silenced after saying she's gay

A 13-year-old girl who came out as gay in front of her congregation had her microphone turned off by church leaders.

Video of the Mormon girl, Savannah, shows her speaking to her Utah church during a part of the service where members are encouraged to share feelings and beliefs.

"They did not mess up when they gave me freckles or when they made me to be gay. God loves me just this way," she said, reading from notes.

She did not choose to be gay, she said, and she could not 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."

But her microphone was muted after about two minutes, and she was walked down from the pulpit

The video was filmed by a friend of Savannah's, whose full name is protected, last month.

After being circulated online, some consider Savannah a hero, but others are upset that her speech is now being shared by critics of the church.

It's sparked discussions about how the religion, which opposes same-sex relationships, handles LGBTQ issues.

Judd Law, the lay bishop of the church, said in a statement that Savannah was a "brave young girl".

But he said the unauthorised recording and a "disruptive demonstration" by a group of non-Mormon adults present were "problematic".

"We do not do politics in our chapels, and exploiting this recording for political purposes is inconsistent with the nature of our worship services."

Bishop Law, who was not at the service, did not address or explain the decision by the two elders who cut the microphone.

Scott Gordon, president of volunteer organisation FairMormon, told the Associated Press it would have been fine for Savannah to come out during testimony, but that she crossed the line when she mischaracterised 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."

Britt Jones, a bisexual Mormon who runs a podcast that featured Savannah's story, said church leaders should have allowed her to finish.

"Queer issues don't get talked about in the church enough. It was really brave and admirable, particularly for somebody that young, that she not only wanted to talk about it herself but be a voice for others suffering in silence."