A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit brought against Eastern Michigan University by a master's student who said she was removed from the school's counseling program because of her strong religious views against homosexuality.
As part of her course work, Ward had refused to counsel homosexual clients, saying she believed homosexuality was morally wrong.
The university removed Ward from the counseling program after determining her actions violated university policy and the American Counseling Association (ACA) code of ethics.
Julea Ward sued the university in 2009, alleging violation of her First Amendment and religious rights.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh ruled in favor of the university and granted it summary judgment.
"The university had a rational basis for adopting the ACA Code of Ethics into its counseling program, not the least of which was the desire to offer an accredited program," Steeh said in a 48-page opinion.
"Furthermore, the university had a rational basis for requiring its students to counsel clients without imposing their personal values.
"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."
The judge said Ward's "refusal to attempt learning to counsel all clients within their own value systems is a failure to complete an academic requirement of the program."
Ward had been touted as the lastest "victim" of the so-called homosexual agenda by members of the religious right, including your friend and mine, Peter LaBarbera.
My feeling is that if you can't do the job completely and for everyone then we have a serious problem, especially if you are seeking to be a healthcare worker.
Let's hope that the court's ruling is the last we hear of this nonsense.
Hat tip to Ray Whiting, one of my new online buddies.