Supreme Court May Intervene in Pronoun Issue, Says Expert

As establishments across the country mandate pronoun usage and bow to transgender ideology, the resulting lawsuits may lead to a judgment from the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court May Intervene in Pronoun Issue, Says Expert
U.S. Supreme Court is seen at sunrise in Washington on July 31, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Naveen Athrappully

As some institutions impose mandatory use of preferred pronouns and punish offenders who do not comply, there will be many cases filed regarding the issue, eventually leading to the U.S. Supreme Court intervening on the matter, according to a legal expert.

At present, there are a growing number of lawsuits on pronoun usage—with many of these related to K-12 public schools where teachers have been expelled for refusing to use such pronouns, Tyson Langhofer, a senior counsel at advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in an Aug. 13 interview with Washington Examiner. Several of the expelled teachers refused to use pronouns due to their religious beliefs which prohibit using non-binary identities for trans individuals.

Supporters of pronouns insist that using the suggested words is critical for the well-being of students who do not identify with their birth sex. However, Mr. Langhofer pointed out that forcing people to use non-binary pronouns can amount to compelled speech, violating the freedom of religious exercise and free speech guaranteed under the American Constitution.

As such cases become numerous, the role of the Supreme Court on the issue will be inevitable. “I do believe that the Supreme Court is going to have to weigh in on this if schools continue adopting these policies, which it appears that they're doing,” he said.

“This issue is very [common],” the attorney said. “And I think it's because there's a lot of misinformation out there about from outside advocacy organizations, which are pressuring schools, telling them what they can and can't do.”

Courts have been split on the issue. In April, a federal appeals court upheld the ruling of a lower court that judged that a school district in Indiana did not violate any laws by firing a music teacher who refused to call students by their preferred pronouns.
In August 2021, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that ordered the reinstatement of a gym teacher who had spoken against a school proposal requiring the usage of preferred pronouns while addressing trans students.

Mr. Langhofer blamed the Biden administration’s policies for the situation, pointing out that the new Title IX rules introduced by the Education Department would potentially force school officials to use the pronouns as requested by students—failing which a school could lose access to federal funds.

“It's a very concerning development, where they're using the power of the federal government to force all the school districts to violate teachers’ rights and the rights of parents and to take actions that really harm students,” he said.

“It's important for people to understand that the government has no business forcing teachers to express messages that they disagree with and that are harmful to students.”

Pushback Against LGBT Agenda

As the debate over pronoun use grows, a pushback against the LGBT agenda is spreading across America.
Last month, board trustees from the Carroll Independent School District (CISD) in Southlake, a top-ranked Texas school district, voted to adopt a policy that teachers will not be required to call students by pronouns that do not match their biological sex.
In Michigan, a conservative hair salon vowed to turn away potential customers who do not identify as a man or a woman, angering local LGBT activists.

In Burlington, Massachusetts, some students from the Marshall Simonds Middle School tore down rainbow decorations during Prime Month celebrations at their school, chanting “USA are my pronouns.”

Meanwhile, there are allegedly attempts to suppress the use of pronouns if such terms reflect religious beliefs. In June, Chad Scharf, a software engineer, filed a civil rights lawsuit (pdf) against his former company Bitwarden, an online storage service, after the firm fired him for placing “Assigned By God” as his preferred pronoun.

The lawsuit claimed that Mr. Scharf's Title VII rights were violated by the company as it allowed other employees to post their preferred pronouns, while prohibiting his pronoun.

“Had Chad set aside his religious beliefs and acquiesced to Bitwarden’s promotion of gender ideology, he would not have been fired,” Mr. Scharf's attorney Jennifer Vasquez told The Epoch Times. "His religious beliefs were the cause of his termination."

Suppressing Conservative Gender Views

The ADF is currently litigating multiple cases for plaintiffs who faced professional or other consequences for their refusal to use preferred pronouns. One such case is that of a middle-school student who was forbidden by his institution from wearing two T-shirts—one which read “There are only two genders” and another that read “There are censored genders.”

When the student, Liam Morrison, first wore the “There are only two genders” T-shirt to school, the principal and a school counselor pulled him out of class, ordering him to remove it. After Liam declined, he had to miss classes that day.

When he wore the “There are censored genders” T-shirt as a protest against the school’s policy of only allowing some messages about gender, Liam was once more informed that the T-shirt could not be worn again in school.

In the lawsuit, ADF attorneys pointed out that “school officials have adopted one particular view on the subject of sex and gender: that a person’s subjective identity determines whether a person is male or female, not a person’s sex,” according to an Aug. 4 press release.

“They have expressed this view through their own speech, instituted schoolwide ‘Pride’ events celebrating their view, and encouraged students to engage in their own speech on this subject—so long as the students express the school’s favored viewpoint.”

“School officials admit that their policy permits students to express viewpoints supporting the officials’ view of gender but forbids students from expressing a different view.”