Free to Believe

Sarah Crank

Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee: Bowie, Maryland

On January 31, 2012, Sarah Crank, a 14-year-old home schooled student testified before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of traditional marriage. Here is the full transcript of her testimony:

Hi, I'm Sarah Crank.  Today's my 14th birthday, and it would be the best birthday present ever if you would vote 'no' on gay marriage. I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender. Even though some kids think it's fine, they have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on. I don't want more kids to get confused about what's right and okay. I really don't want to grow up in a world where marriage isn't such a special thing anymore.

It's rather scary to think that when I grow up the legislature or the court can change the definition of any word they want. If they could change the definition of marriage then they could change the definition of any word. People have the choice to be gay, but I don't want to be affected by their choice. People say that they were born that way, but I've met really nice adults who did change.  So please vote 'no' on gay marriage. Thank you. (January 31, 2012)

Despite the calm, respectful testimony by the young student, Crank received thousands of vulgar, violent, and abusive comments via YouTube and a variety of other Internet platforms. Supporters of court-created same-sex marriage expressed wishes that Crank would be raped by her own parents and die on her own birthday. One commenter on YouTube wrote, "If I ever see this girl, I will kill her. That's a promise." Another comment on LGBTNation.com read, "And now everyone knows her name, so hopefully she will feel what its [sic] like to be harassed and bullied..."

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Crank family