Grad student who was expelled for refusing to counsel gay client settles for $75,000

Dec 11, 2012 | Posted by: DNF | Full story: news.yahoo.com

A nationally-publicized lawsuit in Michigan pitting religious freedom against gay rights has ended in a settlement.

The plaintiff, Julea Ward, a former student at Eastern Michigan University, was expelled from the schoolís masterís degree counseling program after she declined to provide counseling to a gay person, reports the Detroit Free Press. Ward based her decision to refer the potential client on her religious beliefs.

EMU contended that Ward was dismissed because she failed to adhere to the American Counseling Associationís code of ethics. Under the terms of the settlement, Ward will receive $75,000. EMU, the defendant, wonít have to alter its curriculum.

Legal proceedings began in 2009 when the Alliance Defense Fund (now called Alliance Defending Freedom) filed a lawsuit on Wardís behalf. At the time, she was training to become a K-12 school counselor in Eastern Michiganís graduate counseling program.

The Alliance Defense Fund had sought a court order requiring EMU to change its curriculum to permit referrals in cases when the religious beliefs of counseling students could cause a professionalism conflict. Such cases could occur when sexual relationships, abortion, premarital sex and other contentious moral issues arise.

The policy at Eastern Michigan ó which remains unchanged under the terms of the settlement ó obligates counseling students to the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association and forbids discrimination.

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“Some people are gay - get over”

Since: Apr 08

Reading PA

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#1
Dec 11, 2012
 
I suspect I might catch some sh*t for this but...in this case I think the school was wrong.

If, as a counselor, you do not believe you could do the best job for your patient for any reason, then referring that patient to another counselor who can help that person seems the most reasonable and respectful course of action.

If I were a gay person in need of counseling, even though I might not agree with the counselor's beliefs, I would want that counselor to say "I don't think I can help you as much as a different counselor so I going to refer you so you get the level of assistance you deserve."
Abe

Netherlands

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Dec 11, 2012
 

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She deserves way more than that! If she was some dyke that got expelled she'd be getting 75 million dollars!

Since: May 12

Bellevue, WA

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Dec 11, 2012
 

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SWEET.... I CAN NOW LEGALLY DISCRIMINATE AGAINST CHRISTIANS... ...THIS ROCKS

Since: May 12

Bellevue, WA

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#4
Dec 11, 2012
 
THIS IS LIKE THE BEST NEWS EVER... I CAN NOW LEGALLY REFUSE TO HELP CHRISTARDOS AND CATHOLICS IN ANY LINE OF WORK.... SO COOL... GOTTA LOVE MY RELIGOUS FREEDOM AS A SATANIST

Since: May 12

Bellevue, WA

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#5
Dec 11, 2012
 
so this means like as a firefighter i could refuse to put out a burning christardo.... sweet

Since: May 12

Bellevue, WA

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#6
Dec 11, 2012
 
and my kid can refuse a military draft because we don't defend christardos in war... god i love this new found freedom

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

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Dec 11, 2012
 

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KirkW wrote:
I suspect I might catch some sh*t for this but...in this case I think the school was wrong.
If, as a counselor, you do not believe you could do the best job for your patient for any reason, then referring that patient to another counselor who can help that person seems the most reasonable and respectful course of action.
If I were a gay person in need of counseling, even though I might not agree with the counselor's beliefs, I would want that counselor to say "I don't think I can help you as much as a different counselor so I going to refer you so you get the level of assistance you deserve."
The school merely acted according to the professional standards of the American Counseling Association, those standards don't allow for members of the profession to decline their services on the basis of a client's sexual orientation. Her problems with their sexual orientation are not their problem and she shouldn't have made it theirs by refusing her services.

She was given the opportunity to prove her case, but she sold it, pretty cheaply.

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