A high school valedictorian in Wisconsin said administrators barred him from delivering his graduation speech because he talked about coming out as gay.
Nat Werth, 18, was set to give a student address at the Sheboygan Lutheran High School after earning the top spot in his class.
In his drafted speech sent to school administrators, Werth reportedly came out as gay, BuzzFeed News reports.
“I knew that they wouldn’t let me say that at graduation, but I put it in the rough draft because for me it was part of the writing process and how I was reflecting on my high school career,” Werth told BuzzFeed.
In his speech, Werth also weighed in on the Bible and its implications for the LGBT community.
“The Bible mentions ‘love’ over 500 times,” his speech says, according to BuzzFeed. “I sincerely believe that the next generation of Christians will eradicate homophobia in the church and proclaim God’s love to the LGBT community.”
Despite Werth reportedly telling the school he’d take out his coming out from the speech, administrators let the salutatorian — the second-ranked student — deliver the speech instead.
Werth’s story has since received attention on social media, and U.S. Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinWisconsin senators ask outsiders not to exploit parade attack 'for their own political purposes' Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-Wis.), the first openly gay senator, has reportedly set up a phone call with Werth, according to the Sheboygan Press.
Werth also said the school kept him from joining the dance team during his sophomore year, even though the coach approved.