Prof. Sues University for Demoting Him over Transgender Comments

‘They took all these retaliatory actions with an eye to ensuring that neither he nor anyone else dares to express viewpoints they find objectionable…’

Professor Sues University of Louisville for Demoting Him Over Transgender Comments

Allan M. Josephson / IMAGE: Alliance Defending Freedom

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) A University of Louisville medical professor filed a lawsuit against the school last week, claiming administration officials had demoted him over comments he made during an off-campus event.

Dr. Allan Josephson, chief of the medical school’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology for nearly 15 years, was demoted after speaking at a Heritage Foundation event in 2017.

Josephson had shared his professional opinions on how to medically treat transgender children who experience gender dysphoria.

“The notion that gender identity should trump chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, and secondary sex characteristics when classifying individuals is counter to medical science,” Josephson said at the event, according to his lawsuit.

Josephson went on to say that parents of transgender children should “use their collective wisdom in guiding their child to align with his or her biological sex.”

Several university faculty members disagreed with Josephson’s comments and pressured the administration to fire him.

Caving to the pressure, university officials demoted Josephson to the level of a junior faculty member, reducing his salary and retirement benefits.

“They took all these retaliatory actions with an eye to ensuring that neither he nor anyone else dares to express viewpoints they find objectionable on medical and psychiatric issues,” the lawsuit states.

Josephson, backed by pro-religious-liberties group Alliance Defending Freedom, is asking the court to protect his right to free speech and order the university to restore him to his former role as a division chief.

“Professors should not fear for their career when they accept speaking opportunities,” Josephson said in a statement. “Speaking with conservative groups—or holding conservative views—should not be disqualifying for academic service. But that’s what happened to me.”