A federal judge in Indianapolis this week rejected an argument based on a Christian teacher’s religious liberty rights by ruling that a school was justified in forcing him to comply with the school’s transgender-affirming agenda or else resign.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana sided against 30-year-old John Kluge, a former orchestra teacher who claimed that in 2018 he was discriminated against by being forced to resign for refusing to refer to students by their preferred gender pronouns.

In a ruling issued on Monday, Magnus-Stinson concluded that Brownsburg Community School Corporation could not accommodate Kluge’s “religious beliefs without sustaining undue hardship,” and so it was justified in overriding his constitutional freedoms.


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In support of her decision, the judge argued that Kluge’s “religious opposition to transgenderism is directly at odds with [the district’s] policy of respect for transgender students, which is grounded in supporting and affirming those students.” She added that a public school “has an obligation to meet the needs of all of its students, not just a majority of students or the students that were unaware of or unbothered by Mr. Kluge’s practice of using last names only.” MORE

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