From the June 7 edition of Family Research Council's Washington Watch:
RUSS JONES (GUEST HOST): John Kluge, he's an orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School in central Indiana. Well, he's confronting sour notes of his school district's requirement that teachers call transgender students by their preferred names rather than those given at birth, stating the policy goes against his strongly held religion beliefs. Bravo, John! Well, we've got John and his attorney. We've got John Kluge and his attorney Ross Stovall, who is working through Alliance Defending Freedom to defend his rights, and they both are joining us now.
JOHN KLUGE: My particular situation, we had started out the school year with my administration and I coming up with a good solution to kind of respect and accommodate my religious beliefs as well as respect and honor the beliefs of all the students here. I was going to call all of my students by last name only, all of them indiscriminately, and therefore, I kind of sidestepped this whole controversy altogether. I've been doing that for the past year, and it's been working well.
JONES: Ross, let me introduce you. Ross Stovall, attorney there in Indiana and representing John. What happened to John's rights here? We always seem to hear about the rights of the homosexual community and what not. What about John's rights here?
ROSS STOVALL: What we have here is government action, and this is what really makes this so powerful, Russ, as a case, because John has been willing, really atypically, to come out of the school system and to open to daylight the kinds of actions they're taking and discriminatory actions against people of faith. There's just no other way to describe it. It's a hostility against religion. They had an accommodation, as he said, that was under federal law that they reached that. It was a written accommodation with the administration. That accommodation then wasn't good enough after this year was over, and they just simply gave him the choice to either get on the program or get out. So it's really a speech declaration by a governmental entity. They're forcing speech. So it's really a compelled speech case that we're talking about, which is just abhorrent to most listeners to think that they could be forced to speak, to think, and speak a given way because their masters dictate this.
JONES: Now, what have you done? Have you written a letter to the school district? What steps have you taken to express these concerns?
STOVALL: Well, first of all, as soon as ADF learned about this, they got somebody on the ground. They have allies around the country, and I'm one of the allies. We do pro-bono work to help with the cause. So, as soon as we got involved, we did a lengthy letter explaining why, to the administrator who did this, they should not terminate John. Yes, we've done that. We've had no answer to that. We then went to the principal.