Shawnee State University Must Pay ‘Pronoun’ Professor Nicholas Meriwether $400,000 for Violating His First Amendment Rights

The First Amendment protects unpopular speech, but it also protects the right not to speak.

Nicholas Meriwether, a Christian, is a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio. He declined to refer to a man in his class as “Miss,” “She,” or “Her.” He refused to participate in someone else’s fantasy or compromise his faith in this way. He did offer to comprise by calling the man by his first or last name. The school accepted the compromise then backtracked. Officials at Shawnee State actually placed a written warning in Meriwether’s personnel file.

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, an abomination to God. “Transgenderism” is an aspect of homosexuality.

Shawnee State essentially tried to force Meriwether to speak a message that conflicted with his faith. He sued the school on First Amendment grounds. He lost in a lower court but won his case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

From Alliance Defending Freedom, Meriwether’s legal counsel (emphasis added):

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in March 2021 that the university violated Meriwether’s free speech rights when it punished him because he declined a male student’s demand to be referred to as a woman, with feminine titles and pronouns….

As part of the settlement, the university has agreed that Meriwether has the right to choose when to use, or avoid using, titles or pronouns when referring to or addressing students. Significantly, the university agreed Meriwether will never be mandated to use pronouns, including if a student requests pronouns that conflict with his or her biological sex.

Under settlement terms, Shawnee State will pay Meriwether $400,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees. The college also will remove the warning from his personnel file.

In the Fox News video below, Meriwether said that attempting to force him to refer to a man as a woman was “an egregious assault” on his freedom of speech and religious beliefs. He believes that God created men and women, male and female. Meriwether took issue with the school trying to compel speech.

“The college classroom is to be a place of debate and discussion and freewheeling ideas,” he said. “The university has no place in telling professors how they are to think with the students.”

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  1. Good for him for standing up for the Truth that is God the Creator. More of this is needed. I appreciate BCN for reporting this accurately and honestly.

  2. EUNUCH. That is what a castrated man has been Legally called for Thousands of years. Man can Not change into a woman. So called transwomen are Self Mutilated Eunuchs!