She Expressed Support for LGBT People—and Was Fired

Former BYU instructor Ruthie Robertson doesn't regret a thing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 9:49 AM CDT
Mormon Professor Fired After Post Supporting LGBT Rights
A welcome sign to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

When Ruthie Robertson declared on Facebook that "homosexuality and transgenderism are not sins," the 22-year-old political science instructor at Brigham Young University-Idaho expected the feedback would be harsh. "But it never crossed my mind that I would lose my job," she tells the Idaho State Journal. Now, that's exactly what happened. Though her lengthy statement was in response to the bullying of gay students at BYU, which is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Robertson says school administrators weren't pleased. Indeed, after she refused their demands to remove the post—which also called out the church's treatment of LGBT people—Robertson says she was told her summer classes would be her last.

"I kind of felt like the rug was pulled out from under me," says Robertson, a lifelong member of the LDS church who'd previously been scheduled to teach a course in the fall term, per KUTV and the Washington Post. She maintains there was nothing in her contract banning her from expressing her opinions online, but she admits her views were in opposition to church policies. A BYU rep refused to comment. However, the same BYU honor code noting "homosexual behavior is inappropriate" also states adherence to "the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ … is a specific condition of employment and admission." Despite losing her job, Robertson says she has no regrets about what she wrote. "It was something that needed to be said," she tells the Post. (Read more Brigham Young University stories.)

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