A high school music and orchestra teacher was forced to resign after a school district revoked his religious exemption from referring to “transgender” students by opposite-sex pronouns.
John Kluge, who was given the choice to resign or be fired, filed a lawsuit against the Brownsburg Community School Corporation for discrimination, but a lower court dismissed his case. He has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to uphold his religious accommodation.
Kluge serves as an ordained elder, worship leader, head of youth ministries, and director of Awana at his church.
The school district mandated that teachers play along with students pretending to be the opposite sex and refer to them by opposite-sex pronouns and names. Kluge applied for and received a religious exemption under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to call students by their last names only. So what changed? From his legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF):
But in response to the grumblings of a few students and faculty, the school district revoked the religious accommodation and forced Kluge to resign, ending his teaching career.
Under Title VII, an employer must accommodate an employee’s religious practices unless the employer can prove undue hardship, which the school district failed to do. Religious exceptions in the workplace are protected under Title VII to guard employees from unjust religious discrimination.
The grumblings of a few students and faculty. The homosexual lobby has convinced the government that the “rights” of homosexuals are superior to the rights of other individuals. Rather than accepting Kluge’s compromise to refer to people by their last names only, the school has threatened Kluge’s livelihood over the equivalent of denying that 2+2=5. What about truth and Kluge’s constitutional rights? A man’s reputation and career are jeopardized because he refuses to utter lies and submit to an agenda he religiously and morally opposes?
“Mr. Kluge worked out a reasonable compromise with the district and received a religious accommodation, protected under federal law, to continue teaching,” ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch said. “Yet the school district decided his religious views couldn’t be tolerated, revoked the accommodation based on the grumblings of a few, and forced Mr. Kluge to resign on pain of termination. The school district’s decision violates Title VII which makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of religion. We are asking the court to reverse this unlawful decision and rule on the side of religious freedom.”
Photo credit: Alliance Defending Freedom
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