UK: Christian Actress Fired for Citing Bible Set to Sue

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 8, 2019   

Oluwaseyi Omooba got the boot this March amid blowback for 2014 Facebook post

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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - An actress in Britain is going to sue after she was fired for citing the Bible on sexual morality.

British actress Oluwaseyi "Seyi" Omooba was slated as the character "Celie" in a London production of The Color Purple — a character some interpret as being bisexual or lesbian. But in March, West End Hamilton star Aaron Lee Lambert tweeted out a screenshot of a 2014 Facebook post by Omooba that cited a Bible verse referencing homosexuality.

"Do you still stand by this post?" tweeted Lambert. "Or are you happy to remain a hypocrite? Seeing as you've now been announced to be playing an LGBTQ character, I think you owe your LGBTQ peers an explanation — immediately."

In March, the Curve Theatre in Leicester and the Birmingham Hippodrome dropped Omooba, as did her agents, Global Artists.

Now Omooba has announced plans to sue Curve, Birmingham Hippodrome and Global Artists for religious discrimination and breach of contract.

Representing her case will be the Christian Legal Centre, an arm of Christian Concern. The actress' father, pastor Ade Omooba, is a co-founder of Christian Concern.

The actress recently commented on the controversy in an online video, saying, "I was quite taken aback, and I was like, 'Wow, people really think I hate them?'"

"People were calling me homophobic," she added.


 

"I didn't think it would get this far, in terms of termination, in terms of me losing an agent," she went on to say. "I've been trying to email agents, trying to get work, and it's just no response."

The video claims Omooba was a rising actress with a hopeful future, but her career came to a screeching halt when she was dropped from The Color Purple.

"I didn't think it would escalate to this," she noted. "But it has, so now I need to deal with it."

"The post that I wrote four years ago, I don't know how it came out," she said. "I don't even know who found it."

The video argues that, when Omooba's agents first informed her they were terminating her contract, it was based on a phony quote attributed to her in a satire piece.

I didn't think it would get this far, in terms of termination, in terms of me losing an agent.

The 2014 Facebook post that eventually led to Omooba's firing stated in part:

Some Christians have completely misconceived the issue of Homosexuality, they have begun to twist the word of God. It is clearly evident in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 what the Bible says on this matter. I do not believe you can be born gay, and I do not believe homosexuality is right.

The Bible passage that she cites, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, reads in full:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral,nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Omooba claims that theater officials tried to get her to retract her post from years ago and issue an apology for it, but she refused.

When she was dismissed in March, representatives of the Curve and Hippodrome said in a statement, "On Friday, 15 March, a social media post dating from 2014, which was written by The Color Purple cast member Seyi Omooba, was re-posted on Twitter."

"The comments made by Seyi in that post have caused significant and widely expressed concerns both on social media and in the wider press," it continued. "Following careful reflection, it has been decided that Seyi will no longer be involved with the production."

Joshua Arnold of the Family Research Council commented on Omooba's situation: "The truth is that sinners love their sin and hate having their conscience pricked by faithful witnesses to the truth. That's why they hated Jesus, and that's why they hate those who follow him. "

This is not the first time a U.K. Christian lost employment for upholding biblical teaching. 

On October 2, a British tribunal ruled against physician David Mackereth in a discrimination suit. Mackereth says he was dismissed in July 2018 for saying he would not use the preferred pronouns of those who identify as transgender.

His attorney argued that Mackereth, a Reformed Baptist, believes God makes every person either male or female, in accord with Genesis 1:27: "And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them."

But the tribunal panel said this belief is contrary to fundamental human rights, stating in the ruling, "Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals."

Mackereth has obtained legal counsel from the Christian Legal Centre — the same organization representing Omooba in her anticipated lawsuit.

 

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