The bill stems from the case ofJulea Ward, an Eastern Michigan University graduate student who was kicked out of a counseling program because she refused to counsel a gay student about a relationship. She said doing so conflicted with her Christian religious beliefs. She instead referred the student to another counselor.
A three-judge panel of the court said a jury could conclude the university used a code of ethics it adheres to "as a pretext for punishing Ward’s religious views and speech" and sent the case back to a lower court. EMU denies any bias.
Representatives of psychological and social work organization warned lawmakers the bill could jeopardize accreditation for universities’ counseling programs.
The legislation is before the House education committee.
I am an Air Force Veteran of the Cold War and the First Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm). I live on a wooded hilltop with my two rescued dogs, Yogi and Ranger, and two rescued cats, White Sox, and Mittens. We share my land with several deer, a family of red-tailed hawks, a barn owl, numerous squirrels (that my dogs and the cat tree together), a family of pileated woodpeckers and numerous cottontail rabbits, and an occasional opossum or raccoon.