Liberty University is responding to a report that the chair of its Theatre Arts Department hired a homosexual rights advocate as a choreographer for an upcoming theatrical production.
The chair, Linda Nell Cooper, hired Geoffrey Goldberg to do the choreography for an upcoming production of Mary Poppins. Christian News Network reports that Goldberg's social media pages also "indicate his support and advocacy for the homosexual agenda, posting 'Happy pride, everyone' in June of last year, which was designated as Homosexual Pride Month by Barack Obama." According to that same report, Goldberg is also a member of the Facebook group Marriage Equality New York.
Regarding Goldberg's hiring, Christian News Network quotes Cooper as saying: "He [Goldberg] was hired based on his professionalism and his talent like everyone else. It never came up in the conversation, nor would it have .... We do not ask about their personal life."
An official statement from Liberty University confirms Cooper's statement regarding independent contractors is correct. It says: "For example, Liberty has hundreds of construction workers on campus right now and has no idea whether any of them share the same faith."
But at the same time, it's presumed a construction worker is not in a leadership role with students, whereas a choreographer for a school production would be.
The statement from school officials concludes: "Liberty has no plans to ever deviate from any of its longstanding policies and procedures for hiring. It will continue to interview prospective faculty and staff regarding their doctrinal beliefs and practices. We understand the contractor in question [Goldberg] had a wonderful time visiting Liberty University, and found our Christian university to be a welcoming place despite our different beliefs."
Tweet to @LibertyU
Performances of Mary Poppins are scheduled to begin Friday, April 11, and continue through early May.
Editor's note: OneNewsNow contacted Liberty University officials directly for an interview but they chose not to comment.
A university in Colorado has earned the "Speech Code of the Month" for the month of April by the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education.