After receiving notice to comply with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or face a lawsuit, the city of San Diego has reversed its attempt to force employees to speak in “gender-neutral” terms.

The Southern California city had warned its employees that they could get in trouble for using terms such as “Founding Fathers,” “the common man,” “man-made” and “man up.” Those instructions appeared in a new policy manual, in a section called “Bias-Free Language.”

But in a demand letter to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Pacific Justice Institute called for the guidelines to be rescinded – which the city has now done on the eve of President’s Day and George Washington’s birthday.

“We’re glad to see [the city] revoke this type of censorship and PC insanity,” says PJI president Brad Dacus. “At a time set aside to honor American icons to whom we owe our constitutional freedoms, it is offensive and indefensible that [the city] had directed its employees not to even mention the term ‘Founding Fathers.'”

The attorney argues that the policy on bias-free language was unconstitutional. “The Constitution doesn’t allow [the city] to dogmatically impose their worldview and their perspective on the employees, much less dictate what an employee can say with regards to this perspective,” he states.

And as Dacus points out, even justices on the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have used the phrase “Founding Fathers” for a long time – not to mention that more than 1,500 decisions from those same courts have directly invoked the phrase.

“You can be assured that we’ll continue to monitor the city to ensure that such censorship does not continue,” he concludes.

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