‘We cannot give in’: Academic who won battle over transgender pronouns speaks out

‘We cannot give in’: Academic who won battle over transgender pronouns speaks out
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“A college professor who successfully sued his university after being punished for refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred pronouns is encouraging Christians ‘to resist’ and not ‘give in’ to cultural pressures,” reports Faith Wire.

Dr. Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio, said he relied on prayer and the Bible to endure his nearly four-year legal battle.

“Now, he’s encouraging others to be resolute and take a stand in their own lives,” Faith Wire says.

Dr. Meriwether said, “We cannot give in…Scriptures were extremely helpful, the Psalms — even the book of Revelation — teaches very, very clearly we must resist in a kind way, a humble way, a reasonable way.”

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After not complying with the student’s demands, Meriwether found himself embroiled in the culture wars over transgender issues.

“It was on the first day of class in 2018,” Professor Meriwether said. “A male student approached me after class and demanded that I use female titles and pronouns, and I explained to him that I would not be able to do that.”

The student became angry and allegedly threatened to get Meriwether fired before filing a university complaint that led to a dispute between the professor and his employer. Initially, college administrators agreed Meriwether could use the student’s preferred name rather than pronouns, but the student rejected that compromise.

Then, Meriwether was told needed to use female pronouns and titles for a student he regarded as male.

“I was going to be punished, not for something that I was doing, but for something that I would not do, and that was to affirm the gender identity ideology … I would not affirm the ideology,” he said. “It was really about compelling me to speak in a way that conflicted with my beliefs as a Christian and a philosopher.”

He was given a warning in his personal file, and Meriwether feared the next time the same dispute unfolded, he “would have been fired.” That’s when he decided to sue Shawnee State, launching a legal battle that lasted several years.

Meriwether viewed it as “an egregious violation of free speech.” “I would not stand for it. I simply would not go along with it.”

After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in March 2021 that Shawnee State violated Meriwether’s free speech rights, the college paid out a $400,000 settlement, a sum Meriwether said will mostly cover legal expenses. (Disclosure: One of the bloggers at this site filed an amicus brief in support of Meriwether with the Court of Appeals, a court brief you can find at this link).

LU Staff

LU Staff

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