Dr. Byron Calhoun | Cases | First Liberty

University Threatens Distinguished Professor with Reprimand

Dr. Byron C. Calhoun, M.D. is a professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine and of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Charleston Division of West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Dr. Calhoun serves as the national medical advisor for the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, an organization which trains and provides legal counsel to life-affirming pregnancy resource centers with the goal of developing faith-based resource centers across the nation.

This volunteer pro-life work is anchored in Dr. Calhoun’s religious convictions.

However, in August 2013, Dr. Calhoun was threatened with a written, professional reprimand from the university shortly after some of his volunteer work received media attention.

Legal Action

Dr. Calhoun turned to First Liberty Institute for help. First Liberty threatened legal action against the school, and the university backed off, claiming it never officially filed the reprimand against Dr. Calhoun – despite having provided him with a copy.

The university made the right decision to withdraw its threat of a reprimand, but the number of similar instances of anti-religious discrimination on college campuses and in the public workplace in America are increasing. First Liberty is committed to defending clients whose livelihoods are threatened because of their religious beliefs and practice, and First Liberty is dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty for people of all faiths in the workplace.

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: November 5, 2013

Contact: Gregg Wooding, gwooding@libertyinstitute.org

Cell: 214.558.9455, Office: 972.941.4453

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE PROFESSOR’S RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RIGHTS UPHELD

Physician May Continue Personal Volunteer Pro-Life Work Without Fear of University Reprimand


MORGANTOWN, W.Va, Nov. 5, 2013–Liberty Institute, on behalf of Dr. Byron C. Calhoun, M.D., a West Virginia University School of Medicine Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at West Virginia University Hospital’s Charleston Division, successfully resolved a dispute with the University triggered by Dr. Calhoun’s personal volunteer pro-life activities. In August, Dr. Calhoun was threatened with a written, professional reprimand from the University shortly after some of his volunteer work in the pro-life arena received media attention. Dr. Calhoun serves as the national medical advisor for the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

Dr. Calhoun, whose volunteer pro-life work is anchored in his religious convictions, turned to Liberty Institute for help. Under the threat of legal action by Liberty Institute, the University backed off, claiming it never officially filed the reprimand against Dr. Calhoun – despite having provided him with a copy.

“The University made the right decision to withdraw its threat of a reprimand,” said Roger Byron, Liberty Institute attorney. “A government entity must never be allowed to intimidate, threaten or penalize anyone for their religious exercise and related activities. We are pleased that Dr. Calhoun may continue his invaluable volunteer pro-life work without fear of reprisal from WVU.”

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates trains and provides legal counsel to life-affirming pregnancy resources centers with the aim of developing faith-based resource centers in every community across the nation.

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About Liberty Institute

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in our military and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

To download the press release, please click here.

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