A Christian university in upstate New York is coming under fire from some of its own alumni after firing two employees who refused to stop putting their gender pronouns in their work emails.
The New York Times reports that former Houghton University employees Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot caused a stir with school administrators when they started putting their pronouns in their emails, and they were asked to remove them in ongoing correspondences.
The two refused, however, and the university terminated their employment with just weeks to go until the end of this past semester.
Wilmot told the Times that his firing showed that the school specifically wants to prevent transgender people from having any presence on campus.
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"I think it boils down to: They want to be trans-exclusive and they want to communicate that to potential students and the parents of potential students,” Wilmot claimed.
However, the Times also reports that the firings have also met some resistance from people who once attended the institution.
"Houghton’s firing of the two staff members has dismayed some of its alumni, nearly 600 of whom signed a petition in protest," the publication writes.
Michael Blankenship, a spokesperson for the university, told the Times that the two employees' terminations had to do with violating general university policies about email protocols and weren't specifically targeted for listing their pronouns.
"Over the past years, we’ve required anything extraneous be removed from email signatures, including Scripture quotes," he said.