An adjunct at Brigham Young University-Idaho claims she was fired after putting up a Facebook post in support of the LGBT community.
According to CNN, Ruthie Robertson had written “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 added that “God created [homosexuality and transgenderism] as well.”
Robertson also said she hoped the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) would eventually “come to see the harm [its anti-LGBT] policies have.”
A spokesman for BYU-Idaho refused to comment on the matter pointing to “a long-standing policy of not commenting on personnel matters.”
The school did not respond to repeated requests to clarify its policy on homosexuality in its honor code or faculty guide. The honor code mirrors church doctrine, which distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior, condoning the former but not the latter. According to church teachings, “the attraction itself is not a sin but acting on it is,” and even though people “do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.”
BYU’s honor code says that “one’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”
The faculty guide is not publicly available. In a copy Robertson provided to CNN, a section on faculty commitment and academic freedom says faculty members are charged with broadening students’ perspectives “without causing doubt of fundamental tenets of the gospel.”
The policy does not appear to apply to adjunct faculty members like Robertson, nor does it address statements of personal views of faculty or staff made outside the classroom or on social media. That’s why Robertson thinks the decision to not renew her contract was punitive and unfair.
Robertson said she never discussed LGBT issues in class “for the sake of avoiding controversy,” and that her Facebook post was on her personal account which only her FB friends could see.
“I knew it would upset some of my Facebook friends, but I never thought any of them would report me to the school,” Robertson told CNN. “I never thought I’d lose my job over this.”