Jeremy Jordan's 17-year-old cousin, Sarah, has been freed from the "pray away the gay" Christian facility she was allegedly trapped at, the "Supergirl" actor shared on Facebook Thursday (June 9) night.
"Your help and support has been instrumental in this achievement," he wrote, referring to this week's #SaveSarah social media campaign and the $64,252 in donations to her GoFundMe page. "Thank you all for your love and acceptance of my dear cousin."
As written in an update on the GoFundMe page, details of Sarah's release aren't yet available, and it's unclear what this means for the legal case. Sarah's extended family members and close friends hired a lawyer after her parents sent her against her will to Heartlight Ministries' boarding school in Texas. The cause, reportedly, was their daughter's sexuality. After Sarah attended prom with her girlfriend, they checked her into the facility for Bible-based "conversion" therapy, Jordan said, though both the teen's mother and Heartlight refute those claims. A statement shared by the ministry calls Jordan's allegations "categorically untrue."
In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Sarah's mother (who remains unnamed) also denied any intention of changing her daughter's sexuality. "My daughter would be heartbroken that she is being misrepresented this way,” she said. “It has nothing to do with her sexuality.” Court documents indicate the parents have claimed they sent her to Heartlight for help with depression, self-harm, drug use, and behavioral issues, the American-Statesman also reported.
Regardless of their so-called "intentions," the facility does have an anti-gay reputation. The founder, Mark Gregston, publishes blog posts on the school's website, and one, titled "Teen Girls and Sexual Identity," makes for a pretty infuriating read. In it, he calls lesbianism "wrong," "sinful," "immoral," and "distasteful." He also assures readers homosexuality in teens is often just a "fad," and one shouldn't "blow up and label your child a 'homosexual,' or that label could stick!'"
Yup, sounds like a TOTALLY inclusive, accepting environment for gay people to me! Thanks goodness Sarah is out of there.
On the GoFundMe page, Jordan's family says the donations will be used to cover legal fees they've incurred. Whatever is left over will be placed in a trust fund for Sarah, so that she can "attend college and lead a normal life being who she is and loving whom she chooses."