A Brigham Young University student quoted the Book of Mormon before he came out as a "gay son of God" during his commencement speech.
The audience cheered on Matt Easton, a political science valedictorian, on Friday as he made the announcement publicly for the first time at the school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I have felt another triumph; that of coming to terms, not with who I thought I should be, but who the Lord has made me to be," the BYU graduate said. "As such, I stand before the Lord, my family, my graduating class today to say that I am proud to be a gay son of God."
Easton, who interned for Utah Senator Mitt Romney's 2018 campaign, had reportedly told close family and friends but never announced publicly that he was gay.
“I felt it was important to share both for myself and for the LGBTQ+ community at BYU. While I don’t speak for everyone -- my own experience is all I can vouch for -- I hope that people know that we ARE here at BYU, and we’re not going anywhere anytime soon,” Easton wrote in a Twitter post.
BYU officials approved his speech ahead of time and, according to the school’s website, BYU’s Honor Code doesn’t ban gay students, but prohibits “homosexual behavior,” including all forms of physical intimacy that “give expression to homosexual feelings.”
The college grad got support from Christian celebrity, Kristin Chenoweth, and others online.
"You know there's people that are telling me I went too far, people telling me I didn't go far enough," Easton told KUTV. "Ultimately, I had to do what felt right to me."