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Christian Actress Fights For Justice Over Historic Anti-LGBT Post

by | Thu, Mar 21 2024

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English Christian actress Seyi Omooba has been ordered to pay nearly A$600,000 in legal costs following a court battle over an anti-LGBT social media comment she posted ten years ago. She was effectively sacked from a stage adaptation of The Color Purple in 2019 after someone dredged up her post with Biblical references from a few years earlier, and she refused to retract the views of that post or apologise for it.

The 29-year-old is a pastor’s daughter who accepted the role of an LGBT character in the show without reading the script. She had previously refused to play similar roles, but considered the sexuality of the character “ambiguous.” A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal  hearing dismissed her five-year legal challenge against Leicester’s Curve Theatre and her former agents Global Artists, citing her lack of preparation and understanding of the role. It rejected her defence of the right to free speech and freedom of religion.

In the 2014 post, Seyi Omooba urged Christians to “tell the truth” about homosexuality, writing: “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 though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean it is right.”

“I do believe that everyone sins and falls into temptation but it’s by the asking of forgiveness, repentance and the grace of God that we overcome and live how God ordained us to. Which is that a man should leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24.”

“God loves everyone, just because He doesn’t agree with your decisions doesn’t mean He doesn’t love you. Christians we need to step up and love but also tell the truth of God’s word. I am tired of lukewarm Christianity, be inspired to stand up for what you believe and the truth…”

When that post resurfaced in 2019, the actress conceded: “I just quoted what the Bible says about homosexuality, the need for repentance, but ultimately God’s love for all humanity. I stand by what I wrote, but had I known that it would have come to this, I would have set my account to the privacy mode.”

She added, “I have support from actors that I’ve worked with, including those in same-sex relationships, who say that even though they don’t agree with my views, they know that I’m not hateful or malicious.”

“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,” said Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is representing the actress.

“An unjust ruling which defends her sacking cannot stand and we will be taking this to the Court of Appeal,” Ms. Williams vowed, adding: “This is an open and shut case of discrimination against the Christian faith if there ever was one. The tribunal has effectively joined the campaign of ‘cancelling’ Seyi for her Christian beliefs. She and we are not intimidated and we have now lodged an appeal.”

Ms. 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.”

Image: Screenshot from Christian Concern YouTube video