Eastern Michigan settles former student's lawsuit over requiring her to counsel gay people
- Eastern Michigan University settled former graduate student Julea Ward's lawsuit out of court for $75,000, leaving both sides claiming victory.
- Ward, who is an Orthodox Christian, claimed the university kicked her out of its counseling program in 2009 when, as a graduate student in a practicum, she tried to refer a gay client to another counselor instead of engaging in counseling that could "affirm the client's homosexual behavior."
- In 2010, a federal judge said that Eastern Michigan did not impair Ward's religious or free speech rights by trying to encourage counseling graduate students to learn how to work with different types of clients without judging values or orientations, upholding the school's authority to expel Ward, but the school ultimately chose the settlement over a costly legal battle when it went before a federal appeals court earlier this year.
From the article:
Eastern Michigan University has agreed to settle a former graduate student's lawsuit accusing its officials of violating her constitutional rights by dismissing her from its counseling program. A federal appeals court in January ordered the university to defend itself against charges that it had kicked Julea Ward out of its master's program because, for religious reasons, she wanted to refer gay clients to others, rather than counsel them herself. ...
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