Thursday, February 08, 2007

Transgendered professor fired from Christian university

My small group leader from church, dc nemesis, has started blogging. He isn't the usual pajama-wearing, complaining, media type. He's been driven to blogging to help educate people about what is happening in his family. And what is happening is that his father, who is transgendered, has been fired from Spring Arbor University for being transgendered.

The news story is here.

You should read dc nemesis' cleverly named blog, My Father, She... for a round up of what news organizations and the blogosphere are saying about this highly personal story.

The whole story is rather tragic and it seems that Spring Arbor University is going to lose this dismissal in court. Since it is a civil rights case, Spring Arbor is probably going to lose a lot of money, too.

I don't necessarily have an angle on it. I've been trying to work out what the rule is for when freedom of expression and freedom of religion conflict. Who should win? And I think in our multicultural, multiracial, multi-religious society, freedom of expression should win out every time. Therefore, it is wrong that dc nemesis' dad got fired.

However, what restrictions can an employer legitimately place on individual's expression? Workplaces have dress codes and rules about politicking and campaigning. While firing John/Julie Nemecek is clearly wrong, would Spring Arbor be wrong to ask their transgendered professor to wear men's clothing while on campus?