Christian actress appeals sacking over Bible-based Facebook post

Seyi Omooba(Photo: Christian Concern)

A Christian actress is today resuming her legal challenge against her firing over a Facebook post in which she shared the biblical perspective of same-sex relationships.

Seyi Omooba lost the lead role as Celie in Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome's 2019 co-production of the award-winning musical The Color Purple over a 2014 Facebook post in which she said she did not believe people could be "born gay". 

"I do not believe homosexual practice is right," she wrote. 

The Leicester Curve dropped her from the role on the grounds that the post was "deeply offensive to the LGBTQ community". 

Miss Omooba commenced legal proceedings against the theatre and her agents over her firing, and secured the support of Lloyd Evans, theatre critic for the Spectator, who said in a witness statement: "It is not of any importance for an actor to agree with the ethical views or the feelings of a character in a play. Were that necessary, the art of drama would not exist, and many of the plays we regard as classics would be impossible to stage."

But his and another witness statement by theologian Dr Martin Parsons calling her Facebook post a "fair and reasonable expression of Christian beliefs" were deemed inadmissable as evidence in previous hearings. 

Miss Omooba is challenging that decision at Employment Appeal Tribunal today. 

She said: "The theatre gave me the choice to either retract a statement regarding my faith or lose my job. I could not do this, not even to save the career that I love. The agency made a decision to terminate my contract based on false information.

"As I continue to seek justice I call on the courts to allow this expert evidence to be heard."

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Miss Omooba said: "This story sends a chilling message to Christians, not only in the theatre profession but across our society, that if you express and hold mainstream Biblical views, you will be punished and will lose your career if you do not immediately renounce your beliefs.

"We are deeply concerned that the evidence for such an important case, which has attracted global attention and concern, is being blocked by the courts."