'Save Sarah!': Supergirl star makes public plea to free his cousin, 17, from controversial 'pray the gay away' camp after she was locked up there by 'her parents because she took a girl to prom'
Jeremy Jordan, star of TV and Broadway, says his cousin Sarah was forced into a religious boarding facility by her parents
Jordan is publicizing her plight on a GoFundMe page, which says that the Christian facility is teaching her that homosexuality is 'a sin and abnormal'
Sarah, 17, was apparently whisked off to the state-licensed residential facility called Heartlight Ministries after attending prom with her girlfriend
Legally, she will have to stay there for a YEAR until she's 18, says the page
A teen is allegedly being held against her will at a 'pray away the gay' religious facility in Texas and her famous cousin is trying to free her.
Jeremy Jordan, who stars in CBS's 'Supergirl,' has started a social media campaign to bring attention to his cousin Sarah, 17, who he says was forced by her parents into to go to a Christian boarding facility in a remote, rural area outside of Austin after she brought her girlfriend to prom.
It's unclear when she was sent there, but proms are usually held in warmer months before school closes for the summer.
'My amazing friends & fans, PLEASE help us save my sweet gay cousin Sarah who’s trapped at a boarding facility in TX,' Jordan tweeted on June 4.
The Supergirl actor, who plays Winn Schott on the CBS show, further added on Facebook: 'I can't believe beautiful, smart, incredible kids like my cousin Sarah are still being told that being gay is wrong. But it's worse than that for Sarah... She's been placed at a remote boarding facility to help "pray away the gay" for a year with no communication to the outside world.
'She may not be able to see it now, but please show her how much she matters and take a stand to help us free this wonderful young woman and welcome her back to a world of love and acceptance.'
In another post he adds: 'My cousin Sarah, like any other teenager, loves a shameless selfie... Its just sometimes hers includes another girl... You can't see it, but the caption of the photo on the left reads "Merry Christmas from two kids in love." It BREAKS MY HEART this sweet young girl who's only "issue" is loving another girl has been sent to a facility for "troubled teens." News flash, folks, there's nothing wrong with her.'
Sarah is at a state-licensed residential facility called Heartlight Ministries.
Julie Moody, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, told the New York Daily News that she could not discuss whether the agency is investigating the situation but confirmed that the girl was at the facility.
According to the facility's website it says: 'For 25 years, we’ve provided a safe haven for positive change. Our residential setting offers struggling teens an atmosphere to develop healthier patterns during the most troubling times.'
It adds that it serves 56 kids, on 150 acres, with more than 40 staff members.
According to the GoFundMe page, Sarah's parents sent her to the camp after she and her girlfriend went to prom together. The page describes it as 'Bible-based therapy' for her 'disease'.
'Sarah’s parents, who believe that homosexuality is a sin and abnormal, sent Sarah away against her will to an East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens to “pray away the gay,'' says the GoFundMe page which aims to raise funds for Sarah's legal expenses.
The page has raised over $48,000 in four days, almost half of its $100,000 goal. The page says that legal bills have already totaled $20,000. Anything left over will go to Sarah's college fund.
Christine Andresen, a lawyer who specializes in LGBT issues has been hired to try to free Sarah.
The New York daily News also reported that Andresen said: 'I can't comment on pending litigation, other than to authenticate that to the best of my knowledge, the background information on the GoFundMe shared by Sarah's cousin is truthful.'
In Texas, a teen who is not yet 18 can be remanded to a residential boarding facility against their will, says the page's administrator, Joey Jordan, also a cousin of Sarah's.
The page also says that Sarah tried to escape but was brought back to the facility and 'punished' and that friends tried to rescue her but were threatened with arrest by local police.
Sarah is described as an excellent student who was at the top ten percent of her class, on the debate team, and in the National Honor Society, and had been applying to colleges.
Her parents swooped in and bundled her off to the 'pray away the gay' camp. The GoFundMe page describes it as 'Bible-based therapy' for her 'disease'.
Sarah, whose surname was not immediately clear, is described as being cut off from her friends and family with no email, phone, or visitors allowed.
'Not only does this type of 'therapy' not work, mental health professionals from organizations like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have found it to be psychologically damaging, especially for minors,' the page administrator and Jeremy's cousin, Joey Jordan, wrote.