Brigham Young Fires Professor Over Pro-LGBT Post

Salt Lake City’s CBS affiliate reports:

She is a life-long member of the LDS church with the needed ecclesiastical endorsement to hold a current temple recommend — her faith’s standard of being a believer in good standing.

Now she has taught her final class at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, after she declined to retract a Facebook statement supporting the LGBT community. She was told by the school to retract her statement and when she refused, she lost her job.

Ruthie Robertson, an adjunct professor of political science — one of the school’s youngest — taught that final class last week. She told 2News, she was allowed to finish out her summer course, but her contracted classes for fall and winter semesters have been cancelled.

She made the now viral Facebook post on June 5. She said within hours she was reported to BYU-Idaho administration and was called in to discuss the post. She called the post “private” and said she did not think it would hurt her career.

Below is the current top post on Robertson’s Facebook page.

  • kcken

    “She wasn’t fired, she fell off the edge of the earth” – LDS probably.

  • Oscarlating Wildely

    “Sorry but academic freedom get trumped by our Bronze Age myth, part Deux. Oh, and no planet for you.”

    but at least the Mormons have inspired some wanktastic porn series. Thanks Bingham!

    • John30013

      Silly you! Girls don’t get planets. They get to be one of thousands of “celestial wives” to one of the boys. Only boys get their own planets—everybody knows that!

      • P’jama Pahnts

        What would a girl do with her own planet? Bleed all over it?

    • BudClark

      Mormon Missionary bois are easy.

  • SpiderPIG

    It seems like a very low key post, no replies, about 5 likes.
    It didn’t “go viral” or got momentum, I can’t believe she was fired for so little.
    Certainly it was all reports from the haters.

  • Brooklyn Joe

    is this legal ?

    • clay

      Likely. Private schools can have additional behavior standards. Most schools aren’t going to spend the resources to go looking for stuff that reflects “negatively” on their ideals, but if it comes to light . . .

    • Yes, as an adjunct they had not obligation to rehire her for the fall semester. They are also immune from nondiscrimination laws. Yes, this was legal. I often see job listings at schools far more restrictive than this. They even require a “statement of faith” along with the CV, transcripts and letters of recommendation. And all of that is legal.

      • JW Swift

        And I would actually be fine with that as long as the schools that choose to do such things get not one dime of public funds.

        • Since only a handful of schools could survive without federal student loans and Pell Grants, such a rule would make a big change on private colleges. It’s not going to happen any time soon, though. Not with such a right wing court and religious nutjobs controlling one political party and having the other scared shitless.

          • JW Swift

            Agreed that it ain’t gonna’ happen, but that’s certainly how it should be. If they wanna’ be a truly private organization so that they can discriminate, then fine, just don’t expect any of my tax dollars to go towards their discrimination. (Ideally.)

  • clay

    How is a Facebook post “private”?

    • Xi’an Wright

      You can limit who they are seen by and share options vs “Public”. I don’t consider that private, but I also am not the one that’s lost my job, so..

      • clay

        Thanks. So it might have been a “friend” who turned her in.

        • There are some Mormon training videos that have leaked showing how they are encouraged to snitch on each other. Including one from BYU showing how they were to police each other over sexual matters including masturbation.

          • clay

            I expect they do with that with the students, but with faculty and staff, too?

          • Yes, they do. You would be surprised at how many applications I start and get to that section and stop.

  • Do Something Nice

    If BYU receives even one cent of Federal funding, this should be challenged in court, if for nothing more, to embarrass the church. They were humiliated and financially motivated to have God speak to them and say “oh, we accept blacks now” in the 1970s and they can make up another story to accept LGBTs and those who support us.

    • I agree with your sentiment, but BYU would win in court if a suit were brought. It probably wouldn’t even get to trial. Church-affiliated schools are exempt from nondscrimination policies. She was an adjunct so they weren’t legally obligated to rehire her for the next semester. And of course there are no federal laws barring discrimination against gay pepole.

  • Adam King

    Religious conflicts are unresolvable, since there’s not really any god to consult. So it all comes down to power games, politics, nastiness and backbiting. It’s nice some of them are sort of on our side, but I really have no sympathy at all for any of the players.

    • clay

      and considering she was a Poli Sci professor . . .

  • gaymex1

    I’m sorry that she was fired for what seems insignificant, but she now gets to feel the oppression that she has been supporting her entire life. It burns.
    Will she wake up? I doubt it.

    • SpiderPIG

      Good point…
      I’ve been fired at least 3 times, because there was a “rumor going around” that I may be gay. (the horror!)

      • JW Swift

        You’e not alone. I think I could count at least three times, myself.

      • gaymex1

        Yeah, I’ve been fucked a couple of times by that crap too. The solution for me was to finally just get in business for myself…not that the haters can’t screw you there too, but it’s unlikely you will fire yourself for liking men.

      • Eric in Oakland

        I’ve never been fired for being gay, but I’ve not been hired twice for that reason.

        And supposedly anti gay discrimination never happens.

    • Gigi

      I don’t really think she had been supporting it her entire life hence the support for the LGBT community, Ave her firing. Many LDS people stay quiet and say nothing because they were born and raised in it and can’t imagine life outside of the cult. It’s all they know. I’m friends with several ex-LDS members and they’ve been cut off from friends and family in the same way that I was when I came out many years ago. It’s not an easy road to take. Not everyone has the strength. In my case I was young and naive abs thought it’d all work out. It didn’t for many years, but I don’t regret a thing.

      • clay

        I’ve seen people tutoring Amish and Orthodox Jews so that they can have the resources to get out.

      • Adam King

        The people who face shunning and hardship to leave their religions are my heroes. We should do everything we can to befriend and support them.

      • She’s in Utah. Leaving LDS means relocating and finding a whole new life. Mormons look out for each other. The find each other jobs and places to live. I saw this with a couple of Mormon singer friends in NYC. This isn’t like going from the Methodist church to a Lutheran one. This means leaving everything because that safety net is about to disappear which means no job, no friends, no social life, no anything. So I get why they are reluctant to leave their church.

      • gaymex1

        I think you’re right about supporting it. She was silent and then when she spoke up she was let go.. I’m dealing with LDS folks this week and it’s tedious, to say the least. I think they want to be free, but they don’t yet know how to get there. They do need to leave and find new support groups that don’t involve life on another planet…Kolob. I don’t understand their belief system–or any other deity based delusion–but I do wish happiness for those who manage to break free and I will do what I can to help them.

    • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

      She seems woke to me.

      • gaymex1

        Agreed…I meant will she be able to find a new path and stay on it until she breaks free.

    • She wasn’t fired. She is an adjunct. She has no contract beyond the current semester. They are under no obligation to renew that contract and don’t have to give any reason for not renewing. This is the reality for college instructors these days and it’s getting worse. No benefits, no job security. It’s destroying higher education. People are just now waking up to the anti-higher ed views of the right but they have been working to undermine higher education in this country for decades now.

      • gaymex1

        Yeah…been there and it can be a precarious spot–So many people to dance for that it’s hard to be yourself. From the outside working at a university looks secure…not so.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Religion is nutty to start with . Those LDS people want to stay at the top of nuttiest ever.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Mmm…”Church” of Scientology?

      • Adam King

        Very similar. Modern-era cults led by fiction-writing sociopathic con men.

      • Randolph Finder

        Church of Scientology has them beat. The LDS have buildings that I can’t go into into, but they’ll show photos of and have ceremonies that look a lot like the freemasons there. The CoS make that look like a Picnic.

    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

      When a person’s life is predicated on the belief in a supernatural being with no proof of existence, i’m hard pressed to find a top to such nuttiness. A bottom maybe, but never a top.

    • JT

      What? Is there something unbelievable about the Gold Plates being translated and disappearing, and the Garden of Eden being in Missouri, and the Earth originally being near Golob and then migrating to its present location? I mean, I can see objections to the underwear, but …

      • Randolph Finder

        And now that the LDS have given up on the idea that the events of the Book of Mormon occurred anywhere north of Central Mexico, you’ve got the issue of how the plates got from Mexico to upstate New York.

    • shrumpi

      Brigham Young and Joseph Smith live on Kolob…a fake planet/star. What is so nutty about that?

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        I admit to being attracted the whole magic underwear thing. But even that didn’t turn out well for me.

      • Randolph Finder

        Actually not. According to LDS theology, nobody, even those that the LDS consider the best of the best of the best of the best, goes to Kolob to live with God until *after* the Final Judgement. They are in Paradise though.

        • shivadog

          Oh, that is totally reasonable then.

          • Randolph Finder

            Didn’t say it was reasonable. But the more you know, the more you can confuse them. For example, all of the anti-alcohol effort from the Church looks really weird considering how much Brigham Young drunk alcohol.

            (or the fact that someone wouldn’t be able to serve a mission with Brigham Young’s beard)

        • shrumpi

          I got my Mormon edu-ma-cation from “Book of Mormon,” unfortunately. I still want to know where Kolob is, though…

    • Gigi

      Scientologists aren’t much better.

  • Gigi
    • clay

      Makes me wonder if simply reflecting on our political gains or commenting on secular human rights conflicts would have been enough to get her fired. Poli Sci professors have to (ought to) examine and get their students to examine conflicts from unpopular sides, too. I wonder if her objective admiration for successful tactics was enough to get her canned?

      • Sporkfighter

        Exactly. How can anyone teach poli sci without digging into controversial topics?

  • TheManicMechanic

    An opportunity to rid yourself of that idiot cult is a positive thing.

  • Treant

    Yeah, but Bang-em Young has been acting like this since time immemorial. If you’re pro-gay and anti-fucking-multiple-underaged-wives, they’re not that hot for you.

  • Jonathan Smith
    • another_steve

      The Roman Emperor Augustus loved figs and paid an awful price as a result.

      His wife Livia is said to have poisoned his cherished fig tree and to have fed the fruit to him until he soon died.

      • Jonathan Smith

        love me some wikipedia-
        “On 19 August AD 14, Augustus died while visiting Nola where his father had died. Both Tacitus and Cassius Dio wrote that Livia was rumored to have brought about Augustus’ death by poisoning fresh figs.[194][195] This element features in many modern works of historical fiction pertaining to Augustus’ life, but some historians view it as likely to have been a salacious fabrication made by those who had favoured Postumus as heir, or other of Tiberius’ political enemies. Livia had long been the target of similar rumors of poisoning on the behalf of her son, most or all of which are unlikely to have been true.[196]

        Alternatively, it is possible that Livia did supply a poisoned fig (she did cultivate a variety of fig named for her that Augustus is said to have enjoyed), but did so as a means of assisted suicide rather than murder. Augustus’ health had been in decline in the months immediately before his death, and he had made significant preparations for a smooth transition in power, having at last reluctantly settled on Tiberius as his choice of heir.[197] It is likely that Augustus was not expected to return alive from Nola, but it seems that his health improved once there; it has therefore been speculated that Augustus and Livia conspired to end his life at the anticipated time, having committed all political process to accepting Tiberius, in order to not endanger that transition.[196]”

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen
  • -M-

    Well Ruthie you know they’d excommunicate Jesus, too.

  • TexasBoy

    I applaud her for standing up for her personal convictions. But as we all know, facebook posts and tweets are not considered “private.” As to whether or not they should be, I don’t really think so. If they were, our elected officials could be as ignorant and racist on social and get off with “it’s private.” Just as Trump is trying to do with his tweets.

  • For all the talk of “regressive” professors on campus, this instructor’s situation is more typical than the tenured professor. She wasn’t fired. The didn’t have to fire her. She’s an adjunct. She has no job beyond the current semester. Contracts are often not signed until just before classes start. If you do or say anything the administration doesn’t like then poof, you’re gone and at this point it’s probably too late for her to find a job for the fall.

    • John30013

      And, unfortunately, this seems to be how more and more institutions of “higher learning” are operating these days. Also, adjunct professors make shit for wages.

      • JW Swift

        Just more examples of the throw-away mentality of our corporate masters. Same thing as the trend among corporations to move towards part-time positions that they can exempt from healthcare coverage and other benefits.

  • Natty Enquirer

    She seems smart enough to find a better career than being a slave professor, much less within the white men’s castle.

    • Reality.Bites

      Well she’s a member of the LDS and took a job at BGU. smart isn’t the first description I’d think of.

    • religion is insane

      You have no idea that how damaged your resume can be if you lost BYU as your school. This is why many BYU graduate stay in BYU related career or companies owned by Mormon.

  • TrueWords
    • Randolph Finder

      Three points,
      First, marriage at 14 wasn’t *nearly* as uncommon in 1843 as it is today.
      Second, no record indicates whether or not it was consumated or not, she continued to live with her parents from the time of the sealing/marriage until Smith died 13 months later.
      Third, the average age of the wives of Joseph Smith is in the late 20s.

      • TrueWords
        • Randolph Finder

          There are a heck of a lot of other reasons to dislike Joseph Smith, but that meme just doesn’t hold up.

        • Bonniejbatchelor

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      • band

        Thank you.

      • Ron Robertson

        Doesn’t change the major fact that he’s a conman. I think amongst educated people marrying someone 14 was not common.

        • Randolph Finder

          Neither the original comment nor my response had anything to do with him being a conman. And the LDS, if anything, emphasize Joseph Smith’s *lack* of formal education. (*probably* about 3 years of formal schooling prior to age 12, the rest done in the home)

      • Sporkfighter

        “Third, the average age of the wives of Joseph Smith is in the late 20s.”

        One child bride isn’t excused by a hundred of age.

        • Randolph Finder

          True, but having married nine women over age 30 (among his other wives) prior to marrying Helen Mar Kimball (the 14 year old) sort of knocks out the idea of *that* marriage indicating that he is a pedophile.

          By definition a pedophilia is primary or exclusive sexual attraction to *prepubescent* children. Clinically the top age for prepubescent is at *maximum* 13. So Joseph Smith neither meets the criteria for pedophilia for primary/exclusive *nor* the age of his wife.

      • sequel

        none the less, we can all agree that it’s creepy and abusive, even if you’re a fan of other aspects of his life and even if it was considered ok in that time.

        if the tables were turned and we were talking about someone i admire, i’d readily agree that besides their positive qualities, something like that is gross and very wrong.

      • Jie Xiongying

        To your first point: yes, but it was to other men of closer age, such as a 14-year-old marrying a 16-year-old.,1926034,1926257#msg-1926257

        2nd: You seriously expect people to believe that he didn’t marry not one, but two 14-year-old girls without the intent to have sex with them, as well as 5 other underage girls?

        He also married 11 other women whom already had living husbands.

        • Randolph Finder

          I didn’t indicate it was common, but rather that the rate is considerably less that it is today.
          I can’t speak to that, but the only two women that there is firm indication that they lived”fully as his wife” (including one who bore his child) were both 19 and not married to anyone else (Emily D. P. Partidge and Melissa Lott Willes) . And the marriages to the Widows who were 35+?

          I simply can’t look at the list of women who he married and the ages that he married them and come up with any justification for him being a Pedophile.

  • TrueWords
    • Ben in Oakland

      I count two men with dark hair. There’s diversity for you.

      • BobSF_94117

        Not to mention the one with the ginger-ish near-fro.

        • Ben in Oakland

          Get out the hazmat suit.

        • Paula

          He’s a rebel!!

    • JW Swift

      At least the guys are being taught the correct position to assume while on their knees…

      • Mikey

        I suspect that knowledge is reflexive for many of them.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Girl third from right: you are fired!

  • Hue-Man
    • JW Swift

      Yeah, I drooled over the actor playing the main character for weeks.

      • SpiderPIG

        Steve Sandvoss? Oh, me too!
        His latest IMDb entry is from 2010, I guess he gave up acting?

        • JW Swift

          Have always had a soft spot (or is that a hard one?) for that clean-cut, boy-next-door look that he had in that movie (obviously, by design, for purposes of the plot).

          • SpiderPIG


        • Jie Xiongying

          Yeah, he now works as a goat dairy farmer under the name ‘Max Sandvoss’ now. If you look him up, you’ll see he is still a fox!!!

          • SpiderPIG

            Yeah, I googled him today and Wikipedia shows him as Max.
            Left me scratching my head…

  • Buford

    I’ll ask the obvious… was the post ‘pro-LGBT’ or was it ‘anti-discriination’? Similar to the distinction between being called ‘pro-choice’ rather than ‘pro-abortion’, it seems to me that referring to those that support equality as ‘anti-discrimination’ is more accurate that ‘pro-LGBT’… especially in the context of religion.

    Surely the majority of Americans who support equality include some percentage of people who are really indifferent about sexual orientations but instead feel very strongly about equal protection under the US Constitution.

    So while one’s religion can be interpreted as being potentially ‘anti-LGBT’, I’ll guarantee you that this same religion is explicitly ‘anti-discrimination’.

  • Richard B

    All churches tax exempt statuses should be revoked – period.

    • another_steve

      Taxpayer subsidizing of institutional religion is an abomination.

      You (generic “you”) can practice whatever faith you want to practice and believe whatever the hell you want to believe – but don’t make me fuckin’ pay for it.

  • JWC
    • JCF


      Um, didn’t we just have a thread here recently where Jimmy Carter was praised for his positive practice of religion? [Yes, yes: he could be “Good Without God”. But Jimmy is the one who, for 90+ years, has been exemplifying good *with* his God. Let the record show, etc.]

      • JWC

        Carter is the rare applaudable religious man Yhe rest are moneygrabbing homophobic all for me and me for me white men

  • Hanwi

    “She said within hours she was reported to BYU-Idaho administration and was called in to discuss the post.”

    That sounds like some gestapo type shit right there, that is really scary! A community so toxic, paranoid and overbearing that within hours of a facebook post she gets called in for discipline. That should scare the hell out of other morons…..I mean mormons.

  • Beagle

    So she lost her job for being politically incorrect? I thought the right-wing hated that.

  • bambinoitaliano

    Bring’em Young, bring ’em pedophiles and bring ’em incestors and molesters. The incubator of immoral sexual deviants.

  • They make it easy to hate god’s, godless followers.

  • 2patricius2

    Sounds like what happens to teachers in Catholic schools (whether they be Catholic themselves or not) all the time. Got to toe the party line, whether it has any connection to real people and the real world, or not. Doctrinal bigotry is sacrosanct.

    • ChrisMorley

      Except that at catholic schools teachers who are heterosexual adulterers and divorcees keep their jobs, LGBT+ teachers not so much.

  • Brigham Young, so we can Indoctrinate’Em Early! 😒

    • Randolph Finder

      At least 12 years of indoctrination *before* they get to BYU.

  • Sporkfighter

    She put her money where her mouth is.

  • Friday

    Same right wing religions that whine about being ‘silenced’ if *criticized,* actually silence anyone who steps away from their party line of hate and ignorance.

  • greenmanTN

    OT, but hey Y’all! Something odd happened about a week ago and I could not post at all.

    I still liked “hearing” you speak and it was always annoying not to be able to respond. (It was a JavaScript issue.)

    So I’m pleased as punch!

    • I have days where the comment section won’t load correctly and can’t post. Since jumping ship from Foxfire to Safari things are better, but not yet perfect.

      Javascript error? Is that a browser error or one from your computer?

      • greenmanTN

        Because I’m an idiot, my laptop stopped connecting with the internet, but I had an iPad and didn’t get it fixed.

        Now the iPad works but just like before Disqus rarely opens for me. If I’m lucky I have the ability to read comments and their replies.

        But somewhere after 4 to 2O minutes the screen suddenly jumps and Yay! suddenly I can respond. I have downloaded Firefox and Chrome trying to fix it but to no avail.

        I am unable to comment, other than a few random occurrences and yes, it’s pissing me off.

        • All of my stuff is Apple, is yours too? I wonder if Disqus just doesn’t play fully nice with it? My son told me to clear the cookies now and then, it helps with certain sites. It seemed to help me to some degree. Also I found that reloading the page helps and restarting the browser before a visit at Joe’s helps somewhat too.

          Many days, my main contact with the outside world is with Joe’s and to not be able to have that interaction is hard.

          • greenmanTN

            My laptop is Windows based, version 10 and maybe 10.2?

            I truly believe it’s a hardware issue, not software. I did call what I thought was the Dell help line, but it was actually a paid service, but we went through everything and none of it helped. Roj from India, no kidding, because I asked, was very helpful and patient, so much so I even left him a tip!

            So I don’t think it’s a software issue, can’t turn airplane mode off. What pisses me off is that paid a fair amount for this laptop, with tons of prossing power, memory, and a touch screen, but it might as be a paperweight. I take that back. It functions well but will not connect to the wi-fi.

  • Ninja0980

    Common sense isn’t allowed if you’re a Mormon.

  • Brigham Young…… Brigham Young…… Wasn’t he that Mormon who taught that Adam was God, and he came back to earth to physically impregnate Mary with Jesus? Didn’t he teach that blacks were “the seed of Cain”, and therefore unworthy to be priests? Didn’t he recommend death to any white man who had sex with a black woman? Wasn’t he implicated in the infamous Mormon Mountain Meadows Massacre where Mormons ambushed and killed a wagon caravan that was passing through Utah Territory? Didn’t he have 55 wives, one of whom was only fifteen years old? Yeah, that’s him. So they still have a university named after him, do they? Well no wonder the university is such a shining beacon of moral virtue!

    Oh, by the way, I’d like to thank the LDS for Prop 8. Without it we wouldn’t have gay marriage in every state, including Utah!

  • greenmanTN

    I respect the hell out of this woman. I am a rock-ribbed atheist and generally detest religion in any form, particularly the LDS due to its relative newness and ridiculous claims, but I have seen religion to be a force for good in the lives of many people so cannot condemn it completely. It’s people like Ms Robertson who keep me from throwing out the baby with the bath water.

  • CottonBlimp

    Hey Milo Yanotfamous and all you other right-wing pricks protesting against “censorship” in college, any word on this?


  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Well, these are the Mormons, the same bunch that funded prop 8, so does this really come as a surprise to anyone. As for this incredibly brave professor, I hope she finds a real institution for Higher Learning to teach at other than Bring’um Young.

  • JCF


    [I hope you’ll find that there’s a whole world of colleges&universities out there—secular AND progressive religious—where you do NOT have to *sell your soul* in order to teach there. Um, possibly some distance from Rexburg, Idaho though (but w/ distance education, that may not be an issue).]

  • SDG

    Take one cult, add “Jesus”, and suddenly it’s a “religion”?

  • Commentator8

    Religious freedom at work huh?