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She refused to back down—as both a Mormon and an LGBTQ ally.
For LGBTQ activists, it’s easy to lose work over their beliefs—which is what one young Mormon professor said happened to her.
Ruthie Robertson was teaching at BYU-Idaho as an adjunct professor in the political science department when she made a “private” Facebook post supportive of the LGBTQ community for Pride Month. She says within hours, university officials called her in to discuss it and “implied” that if she retracted her Facebook post, she could keep her job. But she declined to do so. She was soon told her fall classes would be canceled.
“I could not take it back,” Robertson explained, according to KUTV.
In the post, she wrote: “I’m currently a member of the LDS Church. This organization has openly and forcefully opposed same-sex relationships and legalized same-sex marriage. 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 also proceeded to criticize the church for their stance on California’s defeated Proposition 8, which would have allowed religious organizations to deny service to LGBTQ Americans.
“I will always and forever stand up for the equality of the LGBT community. Sexuality and gender are not binary, they are on a spectrum and that’s how we were made,” she wrote.
When asked about Roberton’s firing, BYU-Idaho gave KUTV the following statement: “Brigham Young University-Idaho has a long-standing policy of not commenting on personnel matters.”
Brigham Young University is a private university run by the Mormon Church. While the Church of Latter Day Saints allows Mormons to draw their own conclusions on LGBTQ life, the church has largely taken anti-LGBTQ stances on the issue in the past, and this isn’t the first time it has clamped down on pro-LGBTQ messages from church members.
Earlier this year, when a 12-year-old lesbian came out to her church, she was subsequently told to sit down and stop talking about her sexuality. Leaked documents have also revealed that the Mormon Church has played a major role in the contemporary anti-LGBTQ movement.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.