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Fired for Using the Wrong Pronoun?

A proposed policy change at the University of Minnesota could punish students and faculty alike for calling “transgenders” and “gender nonconforming” individuals by the wrong pronoun (what is culturally termed “misgendering”). Those who don’t follow the pronoun rule could face expulsion or job loss.

The proposed policy change also lets individuals pick the locker room, bathroom, and housing choice they want to use regardless of their biological sex.

Just last month, the University of Minnesota officially gave students a list of pronouns and gender options on its online registration website, MyU. Pronoun options include he, she, ze, the singular “they,” none, and “prefer not to specify.”

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Pennsylvania Couple Prevented From Hosting Bible Events on Their Farm

The Independence Law Center filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Scott and Terri Fetterolf challenging a cease and desist letter issued by Sewickley Heights Borough officials last October ordering the couple to stop using their 35-acre farm to host Bible studies and other religious activities and threatening to fine them $500 per day plus court costs.

Borough officials are trying to impose zoning restrictions applicable to “places of worship” on the Fetterolf’s property even though the couple and the previous owner of the property had been hosting such events for decades and similar secular activities were allowed.

“The borough has no business overseeing a group of people reading and discussing a book together on private property—even if that book is the Bible,” said Randall Wenger, chief counsel for the Independence Law Center.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, accuses the government leaders of violating the couple’s religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and equal protection.

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Episcopal Church Lets Same-Sex Couples ‘Marry’ in Home Churches

Starting the first Sunday of Advent, same-sex couples who are a part of the Episcopal Church in the United States and want to “marry” will be allowed to do so at their home church even if their local bishop objects. The resolution authorizing the change passed overwhelmingly at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention meeting in Austin, Texas, last week.

Under the resolution, in cases where the local diocese objects on moral grounds—and the one in Middle Tennessee is among the eight still standing firm against same-sex “marriage”—the objecting bishop “shall invite” a bishop from another diocese who does not object to same-sex “marriage” to provide pastoral support to the priest within the couples’ home diocese who has agreed to perform the ceremony.

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Planet Fitness Violates Women’s Privacy

Leesburg, Fla., Planet Fitness gym canceled a woman’s membership claiming that she violated the “no judgment” portion of the fitness contract because she complained about a naked man in the women’s locker room.

The man, Jordan Rice, refused to leave the women’s locker room after being asked by the woman, who only wants to be known as “Mrs. H.” The gym employees did nothing to help. Mrs. H, a survivor of an attempted rape in her past, considered Rice’s behavior to be sexual harassment. Other women at the Leesburg location had also reported Rice’s inappropriate behavior.

Liberty Counsel, who is representing “Mrs. H,” said Planet Fitness “is committing consumer fraud by failing to disclose, and failing to render in writing, policies permitting access of opposite-sex individuals to places where women have a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Liberty Counsel is demanding Planet Fitness restore the woman’s membership and revise its policies.

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Arizona Artists Take Case to the State Supreme Court

Arizona artists Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, are asking the state’s Supreme Court to hear their challenge to Phoenix’s “anti-discrimination” law under which they face up to six months in jail and $2,500 in fines for declining to create calligraphic artwork for same-sex “weddings.” Additionally, they could also be prosecuted for publishing a statement on their website explaining that their religious convictions prohibit them from creating art that violates their conscience.

Like Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman, Duka and Koski willingly serve any customer regardless of their sexual orientation unless the creative endeavor endorses events that violate their beliefs.

As Jonathan Scruggs, counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, puts it, Duka and Koski “won’t promote racism, for example, or demean someone’s religion. Or celebrate same-sex marriage. Every client is treated equally. Every message is not . . . That means the artists’ case isn’t about who walks in their door but what messages flow from their pen and brush.”

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