Saturday, September 07, 2019

Prof's Objections To Referring To Students By Preferred Gender Rejected

In Meriwether v. Trustees of Shawnee State University, (SD OH, Sept. 5, 2019), an Ohio federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing challenges brought by a faculty member against his university claiming that the school's nondiscrimination policy violates his 1st and 14th Amendment rights as well as his rights under the state constitution.  Shawnee State requires faculty to refer to students using pronouns that reflect the student's gender identity even when that is different that the gender assigned to the student at birth. Plaintiff alleges that he is an evangelical Christian with the religious belief that gender cannot be changed after the moment of conception. He contends that the University's policy forces him to communicate an ideological message regarding gender that conflicts with his beliefs. Among other things, the judge in a 63-page opinion, rejected plaintiff's compelled speech, viewpoint discrimination and free exercise claims. [Thanks to Glenn Katon for the lead.]