A Christian philosophy professor at a state university in southern Ohio who was punished for objecting to using opposite sex pronouns when addressing a trans-identified student is appealing his case.
The appeal comes after a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit of Nicholas Meriwether, who argued that Shawnee State University unlawfully disciplined him after he refused to accede to the demands of a male student by referring to him as a woman and using female pronouns.
Meriwether is being represented by Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which specializes in religious liberty and First Amendment law.
“Professors don’t give up their First Amendment freedoms simply by choosing to teach,” said ADF Senior Counsel Travis Barham, in a Thursday statement.
“Public universities have no business trying to force people to express ideological beliefs that they do not hold. Dr. Meriwether remains committed to serving all students with respect, but he cannot express all messages or endorse all ideologies. When the university tried to force him to do this and then punished him for exercising his rights, it violated the First Amendment.”
Barham believes the magistrate both misinterpreted and misapplied the law.
“The district court should not have adopted her recommendations and dismissed the case,” Barham explained.
“That’s why we’re asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to reverse both rulings and allow Dr. Meriwether to continue pursuing justice.”
Meriwether’s ordeal began in January 2018, during a political philosophy class he was teaching wherein he replied to a male student’s question by saying, “Yes, sir.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter