World Media

Idaho professor fired after showing LGBT support on Facebook


Ruthie Robertson, an adjunct professor of global politics and a practicing Mormon, says she was recently terminated from her position over arguments that ensued about a private, pro-LGBTQ Facebook post.

"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.

The university disagreed and insisted that she take it down.

Robertson said the school's administrators implied she'd be able to keep her job if she wiped the post from social media. She added that she never discusses the topic in her classroom, other than to say that everyone deserves respect.

Ruthie Robertson, 22, knew her private Facebook post would be controversial among her Mormon friends. "I will always and forever stand up for the equality of the LGBT community", she concluded.

Robertson said in a series of meetings with the BYU-I administration, she was told that she could finish teaching her current class and then would be fired. "Sexuality and gender are not binary, they are on a spectrum and that's how we were made". The private college is affiliated with the LDS church, and a reported 99 percent of the student population are practicing members of the Mormon faith. Members are expected to refrain from same-sex relationships, and the church in recent years has strengthened its position, even denying membership to most children of same-sex couples - and allowing the children, once they reach age 18, to join the church only if they condemn their parents' relationship. She posted the Facebook message June 5 in support of them.

"It sucks that I lost my job but having seen the responses from, after this going public, from so many people, so many LGBT people messaging me on Facebook, thanking me, from my students is phenomenal", Robertson said.

According to the honor code on BYU's website, the university "will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code".

The apparent repercussions of this decision have halted her career plans.

Robertson hopes through this trial and tribulation, good will prevail.

"Everything kind of just turned upside down", Robertson said.

Robertson is now working as a bartender.

"It's perfectly ok to fire someone who you don't believe represents the mission of your company, university, or organization", another person commented.

In addition to her aid to the vulnerable yet growing community, she also expressed her distaste for the strict and segregated practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where she is now a member.