Judge upholds dismissal of Christian actress over Facebook post about homosexuality

An Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld a previous judgment ruling that a theatre was within the law when it dismissed a Christian actress over a Facebook post that was critical of homosexuality. 

Seyi Omooba shared the Facebook post in 2014 when she was a student. In it, she said, "I do not believe you can be born gay, and I do not believe homosexual practice is right, though the law of this land has made it legal doesn't mean it is right." 

The post was dredged up five years later when she landed the lead role of Celie in a production of The Color Purple by Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome. 

Miss Omooba faced a backlash and received racist abuse and death threats over her casting. 

She was dismissed by Leicester Curve Theatre after she refused to retract the post and issue an apology. She was also dropped by her talent agency, Global Artists. 

The Central London Employment Tribunal later sided with the theatre and talent agency. On Thursday, Mrs Justice Eady at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London upheld this earlier judgment. 

Miss Omooba, who is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), will now seek permission for a further appeal to the second highest court in England, the Court of Appeal.

CLC chief executive Andrea Williams called the latest court judgment "unjust".

"This is an open and shut case of discrimination against the Christian faith if there ever was one," she said. 

"Seyi was racially abused, received death threats and was hounded out of her career for a polite and temperate expression of what the Bible says about marriage.

"An unjust ruling which defends her sacking cannot stand and we will be taking this to the Court of Appeal."

Miss Omooba said:"I have long forgiven all those who have sought to ruin my theatre career, but the theatre world needs to be told, loud and clear, that cancelling people for their Christian beliefs is illegal and wrong.

"From the outset, the theatre was offering to pay me off for terminating my acting contract, and I would not take that money.

"This case is about the freedom of Christians to hold our beliefs in the modern world, and about the truth of what has happened to me."