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Christian Teacher Who Claimed Using Students' Pronouns Was Against Her Religion Sues School After Resigning

Vivian Geraghty sued Jackson Memorial Middle School officials after claiming she was forced to resign for refusing to use students' pronouns.

screenshot of court documents; Jackson Memorial Middle School
US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; Google Maps

Former Ohio middle school teacher Vivian Geraghty—who claimed she was forced to resign form her position after refusing to use her students' correct pronouns because she claimed it violated her religious convictions—is now suing.

Geraghty filed suit against Jackson Memorial Middle School principal Kacy Carter, the district's Board of Education and 2 other district employees.

According to Geraghty's own lawsuit, she refused to comply when students requested she refer to them by:

"...names associated with their new gender identities rather than their legal names. One student also asked to be referenced with pronouns inconsistent with the student's sex."

This resulted in an email from the school administration asking Geraghty and several other teachers to comply with the students' requests.

However, she still refused to properly refer to the students and claimed this would violate her religious beliefs.

"According to her Christian faith, Ms. Geraghty has sincerely held religious beliefs that govern her views about human nature, marriage, gender, sexuality, morality, politics, and social issues."

Geraghty's legal complaint further stated:

"Ms. Geraghty’s faith teaches her that God immutably creates each person as male or female; these two distinct, complementary sexes reflect the image of God; and rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person."

She went on to claim she:

"...believes that referring to a child using pronouns inconsistent with the child’s biological sex is harmful to the child because it is untrue."

After her continued refusal, Geraghty met with Principal Carter to try to find a solution that would allow her to keep teaching at the school without respecting her students' chosen names and pronouns.

But she claimed they told her she would be "required to put her beliefs aside as a public servant."

She also alleges they then told her refusing to refer to the students correctly was insubordination and told her she would need to resign.

The suit further alleges she was called back to the principal's office 30 minutes later and forced to resign.

"Defendant Carter immediately handed Ms. Geraghty a laptop and ordered her to draft her letter of resignation in the adjoining room for immediate submission."

Geraghty is being supported in her suit by The Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that focuses on "religious liberty" and her lawsuit is consistent with the kind of cases they file.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) , The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF):

" to develop 'religious liberty' legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBTQ people on the basis of religion."

They are perhaps best known for defending the owners of the cake shop that refused to make a cake for gay customers and helping them try to sue for the right to discriminate.

In addition to that case, ADF has been instrumental in drafting and promoting anti-trans bills in state legislatures in recent years.

Despite ADF representatives claims to the contrary, recent evidence presented in Psychology Today indicated that gender-affirming care like puberty suppression provided improved mental health outcomes in adolescents.

One of the specific studies cited by Psychology Today said specifically:

"Gender-affirming care is associated with decreased rates of long-term adverse outcomes among TNB [trans and nonbinary] youths."
"Specifically, PBs [puberty blockers], GAHs [gender-affirming hormones], and gender-affirming surgeries have all been found to be independently associated with decreased rates of depression, anxiety, and other adverse mental health outcomes."