Court Rules for Christian Counseling Student in Religious Discrimination Case

By:  Dave Bohon
01/31/2012
       
Court Rules for Christian Counseling Student in Religious Discrimination Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th District has ruled that Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was out of line in expelling a graduate counseling student because of her unwillingness to validate homosexuality in her treatment of individuals struggling with same-sex attraction.

 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th District has ruled that Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was out of line in expelling a graduate counseling student because of her unwillingness to validate homosexuality in her treatment of individuals struggling with same-sex attraction.

Julea Ward (photo), a student in the university’s graduate level counseling program, had only four courses remaining to earn her degree when she enrolled in a one-on-one counseling practicum in 2009. As part of the practicum Ward was assigned a potential client “seeking assistance regarding a sexual relationship that was contrary to her religious convictions,” explained the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the legal advocacy group that represented Ward in the case. “Ward recognized the potential conscience issue with the client, and asked her supervisor how to handle the matter.”

After directing her to turn the client over to another counselor, EMU officials informed Ward that in order to stay in the counseling program she would have to undergo a “remediation” program designed to deal with her unsatisfactory viewpoint regarding homosexual relationships.

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