A professor's "transphobic" comments towards a female student have been ruled as "free speech" by the court.
Here's the full story...
It all started back in 2018.
Nicholas Meriwether, from Ohio, initially landed himself in hot water for his stance on alternate pronouns.
The Christian professor was given a written warning from officials at Shawnee State University, where he has taught philosophy since 1996...
Before being informed that he could be suspended without pay for violating the university's anti-discrimination rules.
But what offense had Meriwether actually committed?
Well, in January 2018, he had allegedly referred to a transgender female student as "sir" and repeatedly refused to address her with correct "she/her" pronouns, even after being corrected.
He filed a lawsuit against the university in November 2018...
Claiming that the university's attempt to enforce its nondiscrimination policy was a violation of his First Amendment rights.
Citing his Christian beliefs, the lawsuit read:
"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."
The suit also claimed that "the number of potential gender identities is infinite"...
And that there are over 100 "different options currently available."
University officials shot back by saying that respecting students' pronouns is a part of Meriwether's job...
And, therefore, not protected by the First Amendment.
Well, after years of legal battles, a judge has this week ruled in Meriwether's favor.
And, of course, opinions are seriously divided on the matter.
Many are outraged by the ruling...
Anyone noticed that the “religious liberties” they’re so hot about is actually just protection for being an asshole? I mean, there’s no “religious” part to this, he’s just a small man with big issues that need to be worked out in therapy, not a courtroom.— MotownPunkResists (@trumptroll24) March 29, 2021
All he had to do is to call that student by his/hers last name and voila, problem solved. Instead he went on "crusade"which I'm sure qcaused great amount of pain to mentaly unstable young adult.— Hieronymus Bosch (@Hierony82671481) March 28, 2021
Then I hope everyone shows Professor Nicholas Meriwether the same consideration, and refers to him as Ms. or Mrs. Either would be fine.— HerewardTheWake (@BCH1066) March 28, 2021
Nicholas Meriwether needs to get a new job or more tolerance. Sorry you have to accept things out of your old white man ways. https://t.co/WMNc6eD4bc— NXNW (@explorerspride) March 28, 2021
However, some are pleased with the decision.
Good ruling— Upside Down (@bigalbert_) March 27, 2021
Newsflash - common sense prevails 🥜 🥜— Deano Quarterpounder (new)🍔 (@DeanoCheesebur1) March 27, 2021
Common sense judge!— jaxfan11 (@jaxfan112) March 27, 2021
It’s disrespectful but you can’t force people. I use people’s pronouns, personally, but I won’t force people to use them.— Sir 🗿🌚 (@undecideduzer) March 27, 2021
Circuit Judge Amul Thapar, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, said the issue of whether a person's sex can be changed is "hotly contested"...
Meaning that Meriwether is entitled to express his own view on the matter.
Writing for a 3-judge panel, Thapar explained:
Lunch with my friend & former student, Judge Amul Thapar (6th Cir.). The best! pic.twitter.com/gPKVN47cTc— Daniel B. Rodriguez (@DBRodriguez5) October 4, 2019
"A university president could require a pacifist to declare that war is just, a civil rights icon to condemn the Freedom Riders, a believer to deny the existence of God, or a Soviet to address his students as comrades. That cannot be."
Thapar went on to note that the student, referred to as Jane Doe in the hearing, received a high grade for the philosophy class...
And, therefore, there was no proof Meriwether's decision to misgender her affected his ability to teach her.
Now, Meriwether is free to sue the college for damages, should he choose to do so.
Make sure to stay posted for further updates.