A professor at Brigham Young University has been fired after voicing her support for LGBT rights on social media.
Last month, Ruthie Robertson—a now former adjunct professor of political science at BYU-Idaho—took to Facebook to celebrate Pride month. In her message, she criticized the Mormon church for its historically conservative views on LGBT equality.
“In honor of LGBT Pride Month, I thought I would reveal some things in the name of authenticity,” the post began “I’m currently a member of the LDS Church. This organization has openly and forcefully opposed same-sex relationships and legalized same-sex marriage. They pushed members in California to fight against Prop 8, and had a policy claiming that same-sex relationships were a sin and discouraged individuals from participating in them.”
She went on to blast controversial claims made in 2015 by some Mormon leaders, who suggested that LGBT members should be excommunicated from the LDS church and their children as well, unless they were willing to disavow their parents’ “lifestyle.”
“For an organization that places so much importance on the family unit, this policy sure seems to be attacking a form of that unit,” she wrote. “A few hateful verses in the Old Testament have led to hundreds of years of prejudice, hatred, violence, and pain.”
“This is my official announcement and declaration that I believe heterosexuality and homosexuality are both natural and neither is sinful. I will never support the phrase ’love the sinner, hate the sin’ because that ’sin’ is part of who that person is.”
She concluded: “Stand up for humanity, love people because of who they are… not despite who they are. Trump can break the tradition of June being LGBT pride month, but I’m still going to celebrate it.. this month and every month to follow.”
Robertson said that within hours of sharing the post, she was contacted by the BYU-Idaho administration to discuss her views. She defended her statement, saying it was her right to share her thoughts on her private page.
The university disagreed and insisted that she take it down. Robertson resisted and ultimately decided that it was more important for her to stick up for her beliefs than acquiesce to the school’s demands.
“I could not take it back,” she later told KUTV.
While the University has yet to publicly discuss her dismissal, officials have removed her classes from the current schedule. In spite of the professional setback, Robertson still considers herself a member of the LDS church and is seeking employment at another university.