Judge Rules Against Anti-Gay Student In Georgia

Remember Jennifer Keeton, the anti-gay Augusta State University student who sued the school last month claiming that the public institution violated her First Amendment rights by forcing her to accept homosexuality in order to graduate from her counselor education program? ASU wanted to set Keeton up for a remediation program that would "address issues of multicultural competence and develop understanding and empathy." Well a federal court has found that the school's requirement is "academically legitimate" and she could get kicked out of school if she doesn't participate in the program.

The Augusta Chronicle reports on U.S. District Judge Randal Hall's ruling:

6a00d8341c730253ef013485aac774970c Professors asked Keeton to complete the remediation plan after she said she opposed homosexuality and would tell gay clients "their behavior is morally wrong and then help the client change that behavior," according to an affidavit filed in the case. Keeton filed a lawsuit against the school in July, alleging the requirement was viewpoint discrimination and a violation of her First Amendment rights.

Hall ruled that Keeton "failed to clearly establish her high burden of persuasion of a 'substantial likelihood' of success of the merits of her case."

She provided no evidence that ASU faculty imposed the remediation plan because they personally disagreed with her views, Hall said. In an Aug. 11 hearing, ASU professors testified that the plan was not a punishment for voicing her beliefs, but a tool to teach Keeton how to counsel clients while not imposing her views.

"All three professors testified that they never told (Keeton) that she was required to change her religious beliefs in order to stay in the counseling program," Hall wrote.

Hall summed the situation up best in his ruling: "It was not (Keeton's) personal beliefs that were their concern, but rather only her inability to separate her personal beliefs in the judgment-free zone of a professional counseling situation."

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t get this “priviledge” that so called “christians” think they have. I don’t like riding the bus with smelly people, oh well. This case and pharmacists who fill certain prescriptions because they don’t like it really shine a light on the absolutism of the right. How are they any different from the Taliban?

  2. jexer says

    Oh how they love to say we have no right to “shove our ‘gay lifestyle’ down their throats…”

    and then utterly refuse to acknowledge that by that very same argument, they therefore have no right to “shove their pick-n-choose Bible ethics down ours.”

    Of course, they don’t care about law, they’re only looking at the rights they think the bible gives them. I suppose that explains the double standard.

  3. Jim says

    It wouldn’t be called education if all it did was confirm your opinion. These religious zealots are dumb-asses.

  4. SCB says

    What a silly bitch. Seriously. A counselor. She obviously chose the wrong career path to harbor such views.

  5. bitch says

    They say the camera adds 10lbs, so look at her. She’s so skinny in this pic imagine how emaciated she is in person. Gee, now there’s a clue as to why she went into counseling. She obviously needs some herself.

  6. Timzilla says

    Can’t graduate with a degree in geography if you truly believe the world is flat either. At least not from a real, secular university. Maybe she should attend Liberty University, where I am almost positive having “empathy” is not a requirement for any course of study.i

  7. shecrazy says

    Thank you Towleroad for a follow up on this.
    She went to school to be a counselor. So she should use it to counsel herself. But even that won’t help. The only remedy here is for her to self-combust.

  8. Gregus says

    Cue the sad trombone. Ha ha ha! If you want to see this air head speak in her own words:

    http://vimeo.com/13397121

    She seems incapable of differentiating between sensitivity and diversity training and ‘changing her beliefs’. Personally, I think she can hold whatever personal belief she wants…BUT she has to act professionally.

  9. sean in dallas says

    How long till Oral Roberts U offers her a full-ride scholarship for standing so bravely against the godless liberals?

    Mark my words…

  10. FunMe says

    She’s just another CHINO (Christian In Name Only).

    Today I saw a young woman in Santa Monica with these 2 bumper sticker on her car that seem appropriate for this Jennifer:

    “I am for the separation of religion and hate.”

    “Jesus called. He wants his religion back.”

  11. Ian says

    I sense a future “Dr” Laura in the making here. She’ll get a hate-radio spot or be on Faux ‘News’ and pretend to be a counselor, but her doctorate will be in something like waste management πŸ˜‰

  12. Zell says

    Funny, Funme, I have no idea what you’re talking about with the term “CHINO.” Where on earth did you get your opinions about Christianity? It certainly wasn’t the Bible, where Jesus is portrayed as a hateful elitist and all-around dick who insists that only people who believe the same way he does will get into heaven and the rest are condemned to hell, where there will be wailing and gnashing (or, to put it in a more modern but less descriptive term, “grinding”) of teeth. Infinitely merciful and compassionate my ass. For every verse you can list where he seems loving and compassionate, another exists where he comes across as a raving lunatic. Tank is absolutely right, religion–all religion–poisons everything.

  13. John in Houston says

    Look, if I want to become a counselor and recommend all of my crazy patients (which, face it, will be all of them, why else would they need a counselor?) have exorcisms, I should be able to do that. FREEDOM OF RELIGION! Also, I’ll have the witch doctor I use provide me kickbacks. That shouldn’t be illegal. FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

  14. TANK says

    Look, if I want to become a counselor and recommend that all of my patients commit suicide, and actively persuade them to kill themselves, and provide point by point explanations of how to go about it…I should be able to do that! Freedom of speech! And if my religion demands it: FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

    And my religion also requires me to shove you in front of oncoming traffic, john. So if you disagree with that, you’re a freedom hater.

    And if a biology teacher in HS wants to teach creationism, then it’s FREEDOM OF RELIGION and SPEECH, right? You’re a fuckin’ moron.

    Nowhere has her freedom of religion nor speech been abridged throughout this joke controversey.

  15. TANK says

    My apologies, John in Houston. There are a lot of people who post here regularly who would post that without a hint of sarcasm.

  16. latebrosus says

    So what? She’ll never get board certification, but that doesn’t prevent her from getting a job. She can partner with that pillow-beating guy and lead the deluded with her delusions.

  17. tweedle says

    I agree with virtualdespot…look and her eyes and see that no soul is within (I don’t believe in souls but you get the point. By her appearance she seems to be wanting to channel Anne Coulter.
    What. A. Cunt.