Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Michigan University Student Expelled over Beliefs on Homosexuality

U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh dismissed Ward’s lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University. She was removed from the school’s counseling program last year because she refused to counsel homosexual clients.

The university contended she violated school policy and the American Counseling Association code of ethics.

“Christian students shouldn’t be expelled for holding to and abiding by their beliefs,” said ADF senior counsel David French.

“Furthermore, the university had a rational basis for requiring students to counsel clients without imposing their personal values,” he wrote in a portion of his ruling posted by The Detroit News. “In the case of Ms. Ward, the university determined that she would never change her behavior and would consistently refuse to counsel clients on matters with which she was personally opposed due to her religious beliefs – including homosexual relationships.”

Ward’s attorneys claim the university told her she would only be allowed to remain in the program if she went through a “remediation” program so that she could “see the error of her ways” and change her belief system about homosexuality.

Well this is interesting. The university dismisses her claiming she is imposing her beliefs on others - then tells her she can come back as long as she lets the university impose its beliefs on her. Get it?? You cannot have your own beliefs unless they conform with ours.

I could see this having merit if she agreed to take on homosexual clients, and then in therapy sessions tried to proselytize or tell them that they can be 'cured' of their homosexuality - that would definitely fall into the 'imposing your values' category, but based on the report this was not the case. If this were a medical student refusing to treat homosexual patients (or Hindu, or Muslim, or transgendered) one would completely understand the school's decision to remove her from the program. However, when it comes to providing psychological counselling (particularly if it is relationship counselling), the counsellor becomes active in encouraging and repairing the relationship which goes directly against his/her moral beliefs. If I went to a hospital and they refused to treat me because I was white, I would sue. If I went to a therapist who then suggested I go elsewhere because he/she felt they were not the best person to treat me due to conflicting belief systems I would shrug my shoulders and then take my business elsewhere.