Judge Smacks Down Student Who Said She Wouldn’t Counsel Gay People

KeetonIn 2010, Jennifer Keeton was studying to be a counselor at Augusta State University — that is until she told her teachers that she would tell LGBT people that they can be cured of their "identity confusion."

The school gave her the boot and Keeton promptly sued, claiming administrators were discriminating against her religious beliefs. Judge Randal Hall today disagreed.

From the ruling, via Patheos:

Keeton’s conflation of personal and professional values, or at least her difficulty in discerning the difference, appears to have been rooted in her opinion that the immorality of homosexual relations is a matter of objective and absolute moral truth.

The policies which govern the ethical conduct of counselors, however, with their focus on client welfare and self-determination, make clear that the counselor’s professional environs are not intended to be a crucible for counselors to test metaphysical or moral propositions. Plato’s Academy or a seminary the Counselor Program is not; that Keeton’s opinions were couched in absolute or ontological terms does not give her constitutional license to make it otherwise.

Keeton’s allegations do not show that imposition of the remediation plan was substantially motivated by her personal religious views. The plan was instead imposed “because she was unwilling to comply with the ACA Code of Ethics.”

Judge Hall also reminded Keeton that "when someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its rules and ethical requirements."


  1. Tim says

    Now why can’t we get politicians to hear the same message and understand it?!?!?! Talk to make believe creatures all you want at home, but your job is not the forum for it!

  2. Chuck says

    Judge Hall also reminded Keeton that “when someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its rules and ethical requirements.”

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you christian moroness.

  3. Francis says

    Good judge. Unfortunately, fundamentalists are so extremely self-entitled, they’ll call this discrimination. At least common sense is and always will be on our side.

  4. Truth says

    “she told her teachers that she would tell LGBT people that they can be cured of their “identity confusion.”

    That is completely priceless!!!!

    This ignorant bleach-blonde bimbo needs to be counseled on her own confusion.

  5. dawn says

    “if carrie prejean and ann coulter could have a.. baby”

    That sentence alone makes all crazy and weeping at the same time.
    Good times!

  6. Francis says

    And what makes that more tragic in Michigan, Marti, regarding the Julea Ward BS, is that a seven year old kid was bullied to death in an urban Detroit school just in May. In fact before this vote transpired. And he was bullied in part because he lived in a household with 8 females. Kids called him a girl and called him gay. And yet with all of this true, there is now a law in Michigan that basically says that if a person is anti-gay, they don’t have to treat a gay individual who seeks counseling/psychological help if it “conflicts with their personally-held beliefs”.

    These people just DO NOT get it. They honestly don’t see one thing wrong in being anti-gay and not only that, they think gay people are the ones in the wrong. They think we are the bad ones. You would think if you have a job, you’re supposed to actually do your job and provide service to those who seek it, that’s sort of what a counselor does. But when it comes to gay people, in the eyes of homophobes/fundamentalists, all of that flies right out the window. They just don’t care. And we need to expose their hatred for exactly what it is.

  7. disgusted american says

    agree with the judge 100%..bottom line…that profession dictates you put aside your bias for the good of your patient..if you cant do that – then you’re in the wrong profession! 0

  8. Dean says

    “…this horse-faced bigot would be it!” Why does the way she looks matter? Why can’t you just address her statements?

    You’d better hurry to catch your schoolbus. You wouldn’t want to miss your chance to taunt that old lady some more.

  9. Barca says

    My cousin, from a very very Republican family, was one of her professors that “gave her the boot”. Am so proud that even in South Carolina we can have allies.

  10. Mary says

    Gay people have a right to counseling from people who treat them with dignity and respect and not as people with a condition to be “cured.” She chose her profession voluntarily. She knew what its rules were, didn’t she? Although in a large organization I could see how counselors who are religious could be accommodated by being allowed to refer gay patients to someone else. The important thing is that gay patients not be subjected to harrassment by people who want to change or convert them. But I’ll admit that this plan may not always be workable.

  11. Caliban says

    She cites the Bible as her excuse for homophobia while she ignores ALL the Biblical rules for women, and there are many. According to the Bible she loves so much she should be meek and subservient, uneducated, pretty much just an ambulatory penis receptacle and baby-making machine.

    If criminal law was based on the Bible she, Carrie Prejean, Maggie Gallagher, and many many others would be stoned to death. Ladies, are you SURE you want to cite the Bible as the ultimate authority? Because I really don’t think you’d like it if the Bible became the law of the land.

    The only way we’ve gotten past honor-killings and such, virtual slavery for women, is because we allowed social justice to trump the dictates of religion. It sure as hell wasn’t because the Bible is an enlightened document.

  12. UFFDA says

    Note that second (fake) RICK post, the really fetid ones are always KIWI slithering down the low road. Has anyone ever been more threatened? Textbook. He thinks he’s cute.

  13. rapture says

    US Jurisprudence can be right on and practical at times. Years ago, my ex brother-in-law attempted to get a court ordered injunction against my pre-teen nephew from spending a part of his summer vacation with me because he told the court that I was a “dangerous homosexual influence”. In court, the Judge asked my brother-in-law whether he had ever had sex with me. He answered in the negative. The Judge then asked if he had ever personally observed me engaging in homosexual sex. He again answered in the negative and the Judge denied his injunction. I was grateful. So was my nephew (who is straight).

  14. Paul Mc says

    Oh sweet day. Lots and lots of great points made that can be referred to more widely in other Courts when extreme religious expression runs up against common sense.

  15. jamal49 says

    @LITTLEKIWI: If I understand correctly, Carrie Prejean and Ann Coulter have been trying without much success to have a baby together. But, you’re right. If they were to succeed, their demon spawn would surely resemble Ms. Keeton.

  16. John P. Ouderkirk, MD says

    Counselors are supposed to keep judgment out of the equation! I’m surprised this ignoramus made it through the interview process!!!

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