Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anti-gay student fights ASU to stay in grad program

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Jennifer Keeton, a graduate student in the counseling program at Augusta State University, has been given an ultimatum: take "diversity sensitivity training" or be expelled.

Keeton believes that the LGBTQ "lifestyle" is a moral choice and doesn't condone it because of her Christian beliefs and has readily stated her opinion in and out of the classroom, according to the lawsuit she filed against the university. Augusta State said that her views will make her unable to give valuable counsel to her gay and lesbian patients and also conflict with the American Counseling Association's code of ethics. So, they ordered her to change her views or leave the program.

However, Keeton's suit against ASU claims it's violating her First Amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion. When asked why Keeton didn't attend a Christian university for her degree, she replied that they are out of state and cost more.

Critics claim that Augusta State is requiring Keeton to "lose her religion." Really, all it's asking is for her to lose her homophobia. Everyone has the right to believe what they choose, but if those views inspire hate and nonacceptance, they shouldn't be tolerated in a graduate-level program, and especially one that deals with aiding the needs of individuals without casting judgment upon them.

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