Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Professor Sues Over Requirement To Address Students Using Their Preferred Pronoun

Yesterday a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio filed suit against the trustees and administrators at the school charging that they have violated his free exercise and free speech rights in the enforcement of the University's policy barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  The complaint (full text) in Meriwether v. Trustees of Shawnee State University, (SD OH, filed 11/5/2018) complains that University officials enforce university policies to require faculty to use the pronoun preferred by a student when addressing the student. Plaintiff, Prof. Nicholas Meriwether, asserts in part in his complaint:
85. Dr. Meriwether’s Christian faith governs the way he thinks about human nature, marriage, gender, sexuality, morality, politics, and social issues, and it causes him to hold sincerely-held religious beliefs in these areas.
86. Dr. Meriwether’s convictions concerning human nature, the purpose and meaning of life, and ethical standards that are to govern human conduct are drawn from the Bible.
87. Dr. Meriwether believes that God created human beings as either male orbfemale, that this gender is fixed in each person from the moment of conception, and that it cannot be changed, regardless of an individual’s feelings or desires.
88. Dr. Meriwether also believes he cannot affirm as true ideas and concepts that are not true, as this would violate Biblical injunctions against dishonesty and lying.
ADF issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.