Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Courts Uphold Expelling Christian Students

Two recent federal court decisions have upheld the dismissal of Christian students from university counseling programs because of their moral objections to homosexuality: a student in Michigan and another in Georgia were both expelled from the Master's in Counseling programs after expressing their unwillingness to affirm homosexual behavior when counseling clients.

Eastern Michigan University informed Julea Ward that she could remain in the program only if she submitted to a "remediation" program to help her "see the error of her ways" and change her "belief system" as it relates to counseling homosexual clients. At a review hearing, the university faculty asked her numerous inappropriate questions, denigrated her Christian beliefs, and ultimately fired her from the program. An Eastern Michigan University spokesman said that the university's policies are consistent with the ethics code of the American Counseling Association. In the lawsuit that followed, the federal judge agreed, rejecting Julea's argument that the college infringed on her religious freedom and free speech rights.

A month later, another federal judge refused to grant an injunction that would have blocked Augusta State University from expelling Jennifer Keeton from the Master's program in Counseling. She also had planned to become a counselor. Jennifer came under fire from professors after stating her politically incorrect beliefs about gender and sexual relations. Her offenses, according to the court's decision, included statements that she "opposes homosexuality, based on the Bible's teachings," that she believes "homosexuality is a 'lifestyle,' not a 'state of being,'" and that she affirms gender as "fixed in each person ... and not [just] a social construct." Jennifer was ordered to comply with all "remediation" requirements including attending three "diversity sensitivity" workshops and the local Gay Pride Parade.

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