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'I am proud to be a gay son of God': Brigham Young valedictorian comes out during graduation speech

The declaration was met with cheers and applause from the audience

Image source: Matt Easton YouTube video screenshot

Brigham Young University's 2019 valedictorian announced during his convocation speech that he is a gay man, drawing cheers from the audience at the school founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What are the details?

Matt Easton, 24, made the declaration on Friday during a graduation address to a crowd of around 10,000 people, the Daily Mail reported. "I stand before my family, friends, and graduating class today, to say that I am proud to be a gay son of God," he said from the podium.

"I am not broken. I am loved and important to the plan of our great creator. Each of us are," Easton added.

The admission drew international headlines, given the church's stance that "sexual relations...between people of the same sex violate our Father in Heaven's most important laws and get in the way of our eternal progress."

The LDS and Brigham Young University both make a distinction between having homosexual feelings and acting on them.

The school's honor code says that "one's stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue," but "homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code."

Following his speech, Easton was asked by a local television station whether he can see himself living as an openly gay man while remaining a member of his church.

He responded, "There comes a time when I'm going to have to start thinking about these questions, you know? Am I going to get married? Am I going to have children? Those are some pretty hard questions and I don't have the answers to all of them."

Anything else?

Easton told The Washington Post he has been inspired by Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who has spoken extensively about being a Christian and a gay man. In particular, Easton praised the speech Buttigieg recently gave where he accused Vice President Mike Pence of having "a problem" with homosexuals.

One last thing…
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