A Christian legal organization is representing a psychiatrist who was demoted and essentially ousted by the University of Louisville after he spoke publicly in opposition to medicalizing gender dysphoric youth with puberty-blocking drugs and hormones.
Since 2003 Allan M. Josephson has taught in the psychology department at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Yet in October 2017, he shared his personal opinions on treatment for gender-confused young people at the Heritage Foundation, a politically conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. He was subsequently demoted from his position and was told last month that his contract would not be renewed.
At that 2017 panel, Josephson appeared alongside Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician with the American College of Pediatricians, and Paul Hruz, a professor of endocrinology at Washington University (Saint Louis) Medical School. The three panelists argued against the nebulous concept of “gender identity” and the administration of hormones to psychologically distressed children who believe they are the opposite sex.
The Kentucky professor is now presently fighting to get his job back and is backed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, known for its track record of winning landmark religious freedom cases at the Supreme Court. Josephson has filed a federal lawsuit against the university in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.
Travis Barham, ADF senior counsel, said in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday that the group is focusing on his free speech rights, guaranteed by the First Amendment. Although Josephson is a professing Christian, ADF does not have a free exercise of religion claim in this particular lawsuit, he noted.
“Public colleges have no business demoting people simply because they hold different views than their colleagues or different views from the administration. All Dr. Josephson did here was express his own personal views in his private capacity, off-campus for that matter,” he said, adding that holding certain opinions and sharing them ought not to disqualify him for academic service.
“The Supreme Court has said over and over again that especially when certain viewpoints are out of favor that is all the more reason to give them protection. And that’s especially true in the university context because universities are supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, not an assembly line for one type of thought,” Barham emphasized.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter