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Judges Unanimously Rule For Professor Who Opposed Preferred Pronouns Policy

A federal court says an Ohio professor’s lawsuit against a state university over being required to use a student’s preferred pronouns can continue, reversing a lower court’s ruling against him.

Longtime philosophy professor Nicholas Meriwether sued Shawnee State University in Portsmouth for reprimanding him in 2018, saying he created a hostile environment for refusing to comply with the preferred pronouns policy.

Meriwether addressed a transgender student as “sir” after she said she identified as female and asked him to address her that way.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Shawnee State violated Meriwether’s free speech rights based on his devout Christianity.

In the 32-page ruling, the three judges agreed that without those protections, “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.”

Meriwether remains on the faculty at Shawnee State and intends to move forward with the suit, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Meriwether in his case.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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