Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Still Another Case of Pro-Gay Fascism in Academia

From the Ann Arbor News:
A national public interest group has filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University on behalf of a graduate student who allegedly was dismissed from counseling studies for her religious beliefs regarding homosexuality.

The suit was filed Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Detroit by the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom, a conservative public interest group focusing on religious freedom.

It alleges that EMU violated the civil rights of Julea Ward, a graduate student in school counseling, by dismissing her from the program because she would not affirm homosexual behavior in the context of counseling, as specified in university policy.

EMU’s handbook for students in the counseling program sets out that they adhere to American Counseling Association standards, which require counselors to not engage in discrimination based on, among other things, sexual orientation.

When Ward was asked to counsel a client wishing to discuss a homosexual relationship, Ward objected and followed her supervisor’s instructions by referring the client to another counselor, said Jeremy Tedesco, an Arizona-based attorney working on the case.

Although she had been instructed to refer clients when faced with an ethical dilemma, Ward was still brought up on disciplinary charges, Tedesco said. Dismissal proceedings began in January, and in March she was dismissed from the counseling program. She lost an appeal to the dean of the school of education.

Pam Young, an EMU spokeswoman, released a statement that said the university doesn’t comment about pending litigation, but that EMU is “a diverse campus with a strong commitment not to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”
Interesting statement. What it actually means, in the context of academia, is that we won’t discriminate against homosexuals, but we will certainly discriminate against Christians.
The lawsuit says that Ward is “a Christian who derives her beliefs and moral values from the Bible.”

“Based on her sincerely held religious beliefs, Ms. Ward believes that homosexual behavior is immoral sexual conduct, and cannot affirm or validate that behavior or otherwise use her counseling skills and abilities to facilitate homosexual behavior, without violating her sincere religious beliefs,” the suit states.

Tedesco said Ward’s dismissal stemmed from an incident in a practicum course, in which students counsel clients under the supervision of EMU faculty. Faced with counseling a client involved in a homosexual relationship, Ward approached her faculty supervisor prior to meeting to ask for advice.

The supervisor, identified as professor Yvonne Callaway, advised Ward to refer the client to another counselor, according to the lawsuit. Shortly after, Callaway initiated disciplinary proceedings against Ward.
Of course, a liberal social worker would never be required to condone behaviors she believed to be (say) racist or sexist. We can’t imagine that a feminist social worker would be required to counsel a Muslim woman in a way that condoned fundamentalist Islamic views about relations between the sexes. And we can’t imagine that any social worker would be required to condone sexually molesting children.

But a different standard applies to Christians.

But if the above isn’t chilling enough, it goes further.
Ward then underwent an informal review during which she was asked to undergo a remediation program to change her beliefs relating to counseling about homosexuality, the suit states. When Ward refused, she went through a formal review process with counseling professors. A transcript of the review, filed with the complaint, quotes Callaway as saying the client’s referral was a violation of ethical codes.

According to the transcript, Callaway said Ward questioned the ACA’s authority to regulate her behavior and that Ward said she refused to compromise her religious beliefs.

Ward received a letter March 12 informing her of her dismissal from the program.
In other words, she was offered to opportunity to submit to brainwashing to escape punishment.
On March 29, College of Education Dean Vernon C. Polite upheld the dismissal.

“In essence, what the university wants (Ward) to do is affirm homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship in order to get a degree there,” Tedesco said. “That’s something she’s unwilling to do.”

The lawsuit is seeking Ward’s reinstatement into the counseling program and includes a claim for compensatory damages as determined in court. Tedesco said Ward’s attorneys will file a preliminary injunction seeking her reinstatement shortly. Ward was four requirements away from graduating with a master’s degree and has a 3.91 GPA, the suit says.
Allowing a counselor with moral objections to homosexuality to simply hand off a client to a secular liberal colleague would seem to be a reasonable accommodation to sincere religious beliefs.

But the gay lobby (and its politically correct academic acolytes) are not about tolerance. They are about orthodoxy. Everybody must think the way they want them to think — or at least be forced to pretend that they think that way — or they will be punished.

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