A federal appeals court has ruled that Shawnee State University Professor Nicholas Meriwether can sue the Ohio school over his reprimand for refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred pronouns. The case began over a 2018 incident on the first day of Meriwether’s political philosophy class when he’d called a student who raised their hand “sir.” After the class, the student told him she identified as a woman and asked the professor to address her that way. But he refused, saying his Christian faith prevented him from talking about gender in a way he believed to untrue. The student complained, and after an investigation, the school said Meriwether had created a hostile environment with his refusal, and gave him a written warning that he could be fired or suspended without pay for violating their nondiscrimination policy. The appeals court found that Meriwether could sue over the reprimand for alleged violations of his constitutional rights, ruling that school had, quote, “punished a professor for his speech on a hotly contested issue.” The ruling stated, “Since Meriwether has plausibly alleged that Shawnee State violated his First Amendment rights by compelling his speech or silence and casting a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom, his free-speech claim may proceed.” (Washington Post)