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We at UFI have often discussed how long it might be before counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists—those who maintain a viewpoint that homosexual lifestyle and behavior should not be promoted and mainstreamed–will be forbidden to participate in their profession.

The recent situation of Jennifer Keeton, an Augusta State University student getting her master’s degree in counseling, should give everyone pause.  Jennifer has been assigned to attend remediation for her beliefs regarding same-sex behavior and if she does not agree to the university’s demands, she will be dismissed from her Counselor Education Program.

Jennifer had made responses in class and had discussions outside of class regarding her belief that same-sex behavior was a lifestyle and not “a state of being.”  This and other interactions with faculty prompted the program chair to call Jennifer in and demand that she, among other things:

  • Attend workshops of diversity sensitivity toward GLBTQ populations and write reports on her experiences and how her beliefs were impacted.
  • Read articles on improving effectiveness with GLBTQ populations and write reports on what she learned.
  • Increase her exposure and interaction with gay population with an emphasis on attending the Gay Parade in Augusta, Georgia.

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorneys filed suit against the university on Keeton’s behalf on First Amendment grounds.  According to ADF, university faculty said Keeton’s beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the counseling profession, saying it would hinder her “ability to be a multiculturally competent counselor, particularly with regard to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning populations.”

Anyone who is a part of the counseling professions needs to take note of this case.  If you are a student or have a child that is considering this profession, you should be fully apprised of the challenges involved.

To read the complaint filed by Alliance Defense Fund, where you can learn the details of what occurred, go here.

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