Counseling Student Appeals Ruling Expelling Her For Christian Ethical Views


Maureen Downey writes:

A grad student at Augusta State University who sued the school over a clash between her grad program requirements and her religious beliefs on gay people is now asking a federal appeals court to block the university from expelling her.

... In 2010, Jennifer Keeton, 24, sued after the college required her to complete a remediation program or face expulsion for her anti-gay beliefs. Her lawsuit states that her views on gays were known to faculty at the university because of her “disagreement in several class discussions and in written assignments with the gay and lesbian ‘lifestyle.’”'

... Keeton has already been rebuffed by the courts. Earlier this year, a U.S. district judge ruled in the university’s favor.

In supporting Augusta State in its actions, the judge wrote, “The record suggests, and the testimony at the hearing bolsters, the Plan was imposed because Plaintiff exhibited an inability to counsel in a professionally ethical manner – that is, an inability to resist imposing her moral viewpoint on counselees – in violation of the ACA Code of Ethics.”

A classmate testified that Keeton said she would be compelled by her beliefs to tell gay or lesbian counseling clients that their behaviors were morally wrong and must be changed.