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Controversy Arises as US University Dismisses Two Employees over Pronoun Usage in Emails

According to a report by the Independent, two employees, Raegan Zelaya, and Shua Wilmot, who served as residence hall directors at Houghton University in New York, were unexpectedly terminated in April. Their dismissal was due to their inclusion of pronouns, specifically "she/her" and "he/him," in their email signatures.

Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot, two employees with distinct first names, did not identify as transgender but thought it was a good deed to include their pronouns in their email signatures. They wanted to show their support for transgender people and educate anyone unsure of how to communicate with them.

Following the implementation of a new policy at Houghton University, which is presently owned by a conservative branch of the Methodist Church, administrators approached residence hall directors Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot. The administrators requested the removal of the pronouns "she/her" and "he/him" from their email signatures, considering it a policy violation. However, when Zelaya and Wilmot declined to comply with the request, they were fired from their positions mere weeks before the conclusion of the semester.

According to a New York Times report, the termination of Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot at Houghton University coincides with the university's growing inclination towards religious conservatism. Houghton University took steps in this direction by closing its multicultural student center approximately two years ago. Additionally, the university ceased recognizing a student LGBTQ+ club that resisted endorsing more conservative terminology related to the same.

Houghton University, affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, believes that "gender confusion and dysphoria are ultimately the result of the fallen state of humanity, encompassing biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects." The institution regards "adult gender nonconformity" as a violation of the sacredness of human life.


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