- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 18, 2020

A right-leaning columnist for the Denver Post has been fired for what he said were his politically incorrect statements on transgender rights, including his insistence that “there are only two sexes.”

Jon Caldara, president of the free-market Independence Institute in Denver, said Friday that editorial editor Megan Schrader nixed his weekly column, which he has written since 2016, because she “found my writing too insensitive. And yes, it is.”

“What seemed to be the last straw for my column was my insistence that there are only two sexes and my frustration that to be inclusive of the transgendered (even that word isn’t allowed) we must lose our right to free speech,” Mr. Caldara said in a Facebook post.

He referred to his final Friday column criticizing the comprehensive sex-education bill signed last year by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, which requires school districts that offer “human sexuality instruction” to include the “health needs” of LGBT individuals.

“Democrats don’t want transparency in hospital billing and they certainly don’t want education transparency when it comes to their mandate to convince your kid that there are more than two sexes, even if it’s against your wishes,” he said in the column.



Ms. Schrader declined in an email to comment on the specifics of the personnel decision, but said, “I am dedicated to having a variety of conservative voices on my page and I have already started to look for writers to fill Jon’s weekly Sunday column slot in the coming weeks.”

Under Ms. Schrader, the Post’s editorial page declared in March that its 2014 Senate endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner was a “mistake,” walking back the endorsement made under then-editorial page editor Vincent Carroll, a columnist known for his right-of-center views.

Mr. Caldara was careful to avoid casting aspersions on Ms. Schrader, saying that she took over “during a period of painful upheaval at the Post and handled the transition masterfully,” and calling her “one of the sweetest, most heartfelt people I know.”

“We’d argue over how she would edit my column, but almost always she’d make it much better. And I am grateful. I’ll miss the friendly arguments the most. Megan is and will be a good friend,” he said.



The decision to ax the Caldara column comes after another Colorado free-speech flap involving KNUS-AM talk-show host Craig Silverman, who said the conservative station fired him in the middle of his Nov. 16 show over his anti-Trump commentary.

Salem Media Group denied the allegation, saying he was terminated for appearing on a competing station, while Mr. Silverman said his contract permitted him to do so.

In his Friday column, Mr. Caldara made it clear that he supports same-sex marriage, but not efforts by the LGBT movement to limit free expression.

“But to force us to use inaccurate pronouns, to force us to teach our kids that there are more than two sexes, to call what is plainly a man in a dress, well, not a man in a dress violates our right of speech,” Mr. Caldara said.

He continued: “YOU are free to wear a dress, and quite sincerely, more power to you! That’s power over your own self. You are sovereign. And so am I. Which means YOU cannot choose my words. Our words are now chosen by the press, and our kids’ words are being mandated at school.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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