The transgender agenda has many fronts, and one of them is demanding that others abide by its speech rules.
If a man says he is a woman, under the politically correct rules, others must address him as a woman.
But now that demand at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, has resulted in a constitutional-rights lawsuit by a professor, Nicholas Meriwether.
He explains in his court filing in U.S. District Court in Ohio that as a philosophy professor, he teaches students to “seek knowledge, wisdom, and truth” and to “challenge them to think deeply and critically about the issues of the day.”
The problem arose at the beginning of the year, explains the complaint, which names as defendants trustees Francesca Hartop, Joseph Watson, Scott Williams, David Furbee, Sondra Hash, Robert Howarth, George White, Wallace Edwards, Brett Rappold and Leen Heresh, as well as President Jeff Bauer, acting Dean of Arts Roberta Milliken, English department chief Jennifer Pauley and Title IX Coordinator Tena Pierce.
The complaint states: “A male student demanded that Dr. Meriwether address him as a woman because he identified as such and threatened to have Dr. Meriwether fired if he declined. To accede to these demands would have required Dr. Meriwether to communicate views regarding gender identity that he does not hold, that he does not wish to communicate, and that would contradict (and force him to violate) his sincerely held Christian beliefs.”
Meriwether declined, the complaint states, but “offered to use whatever proper name the student preferred to accommodate this student and to make him feel as comfortable as possible without violating his own deeply held beliefs and convictions.”
Instead, the student complained to the university, and its officials “sought to silence Dr. Meriwether and punished him for expressing views that differ from its own orthodoxy and for declining to express its mandated ideological message.”
Homosexuals, lesbians, transgenders and others repeatedly have complained to authorities that Christians are not bowing to their agenda. It’s happened repeatedly over bakers who decline to promote homosexuality with their artistic creations, with venue operators, with calligraphers and others.
The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to promote homosexuality with his creations because of the state’s “hostility” to his Christian faith.
Nevertheless, Colorado has continued its “hostility” to baker Jack Phillips by filing yet another complaint against him, which triggered Phillips’ own lawsuit against the state in response.
In the latest case, Shawnee officials, “continuing their role as the self-appointed grammar police,” threatened to punish Meriwether for refusing to submit to their agenda.
“Defendants have retaliated against Dr. Meriwether for exercising his First Amendment rights, have violated his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion, have violated the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, have deprived him of due process and equal protection of the law, have denied him his right to exercise his religion under the Ohio constitution, and have breached their contract with him,” the lawsuit charges.
The university’s actions have deprived him of rights under the First Amendment, the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, the 14th Amendment and state constitutional provisions, the complaint charges.
The university had decided it would define “gender identity” as whatever a person wants it to be.
Students, therefore, can choose the pronoun they want people to use, such as “ze, sie, sie, hir, hirs, zie, xe, xem, xyr, xyrs, per, ve, ver, vis, fae, faer, ae, aer, e, ey, em, eir, eirs, tey, ter and tem.”
The university told him it would make no provision for his academic freedom and free-speech rights.
But to impose that on Meriwether, a Christian whose faith governs how he thinks about human nature, marriage, gender, sexuality and morality, violates his own rights, the lawsuit contends.
It the professor’s “yes, sir” response to student Alena Breuning, a male that prompted the complaint.
The student immediately told the professor he had to follow the student’s demands or he could get the professor fired.
The lawsuit asks for a judgment that the speech policy is unconstitutional and an order blocking its implementation along with nominal damages for constitutional violations.
The case was brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which handled Phillips’ Supreme Court case.