Keeton loses appeal against ASU

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ATLANTA — A federal court has upheld a ruling that Augusta State University was within its rights to require a graduate school counseling student to keep her biblical views on gays to herself.

A three-judge panel ruled Friday that the university was following protocol when it put Jennifer Keeton on a remediation plan and threatened to expel her after she repeatedly said it would be difficult for her to work with gay clients. The university argued that it would risk its accreditation with the American Counseling Association if it didn’t hold Keeton to a code of ethics.

“When someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its rules and ethical requirements,” Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote in the court’s ruling. “Lawyers must present legal arguments on behalf of their clients, notwithstanding their personal views. Judges must apply the law, even when they disagree with it. So too counselors must refrain from imposing their moral and religious values on their clients.”

The appeals court ruled that the remediation plan was “reasonable” and it did not violate Keeton’s First Amendment rights.

Keeton contended the institution was punishing her for her Christian views. The Alliance Defense Fund, which brought the lawsuit, declined comment

“We are pleased with the decision of the courts that ruled in favor of Augusta Stae,” Kathy Schofe, ASU’s director of public relations, said Monday.

Keeton, who said she’s a devout Christian “committed to the truth of the Bible,” enrolled in the school’s counselor education program in fall 2009 and soon began discussing her views that sexual behavior is a personal choice and that gender identity isn’t subject to change.

University faculty were concerned that Keeton was scheduled to practice counseling in middle and high schools as part of her degree program and could possibly harm young students with her views.

Faculty members were alarmed after she wrote in a term paper that it would be hard with her to work with gay people. The school told her that her language was unethical according to guidelines from the American Counseling Association, and she was put on probation and warned she could be expelled.

She was asked in May 2010 to agree to a remediation plan that would require her to attend sensitivity training, read counseling journals and mix with homosexuals at events such as the city’s gay pride parade.

Keeton refused to comply with the plan, which she said in court papers would require her to “tell clients wanting to hear it that homosexual sex is moral.”

A lower court rejected Keeton’s challenge, and the appeals court in Atlanta upheld that ruling.

The case has drawn national attention from religious groups and gay rights advocates.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, a national gay rights law firm, took the opposing side. They argued that counselors shouldn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation and should avoid imposing their values on clients.

“We are grateful to the Court for recognizing how potentially dangerous it would be for a counselor to allow her personal beliefs to get in the way of her ethical obligation to promote the well-being of all students,” said Greg Nevins, an attorney for Lambda Legal.

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TakeAHike
186
Points
TakeAHike 12/19/11 - 07:17 pm
0
0
She's an idiot who wasted

She's an idiot who wasted taxpayer resources. You wouldn't expect a school to accommodate an outspoken atheist in its M.Div. degree program. Pick a different major already!

curly123053
4671
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curly123053 12/19/11 - 09:51 pm
0
0
She needs to transfer to

She needs to transfer to North Greenville University or Charleston Southern University. Both of these fine universities are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and they would educate her according to her beliefs. Quit wasting money and time and move on.

KSL
129493
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KSL 12/19/11 - 10:11 pm
0
0
While you are at it, why

While you are at it, why don't you get on board about all of the other taxpayers resources that are getting wasted? Can you name where you are there?

faithson
5158
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faithson 12/19/11 - 10:16 pm
0
0
Activist judges... send in

Activist judges... send in the Marshals, OH Yea, this is AMERICA, we have an INDEPENDENT judiciary, unless your ole Newt, who on the other hand thinks the Executive branch has some power over the judiciary when it disagrees with its findings.

faithson
5158
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faithson 12/19/11 - 10:42 pm
0
0
Now did anyone really think

Now did anyone really think Judge Randy Hall was going to get overturned in this case. Judge Hall is about as conservative as they come.

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 12/20/11 - 12:04 am
0
0
Quite a stretch there free...
Unpublished

Quite a stretch there free...

my.voice
4824
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my.voice 12/20/11 - 12:20 am
0
0
Dang...this again?

Dang...this again?

shrimp for breakfast
5456
Points
shrimp for breakfast 12/20/11 - 12:23 am
0
0
This is not news. It's just

This is not news. It's just the law.

freeradical
1075
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freeradical 12/20/11 - 07:10 am
0
0
The academic endorsement of

The academic endorsement of the disease ridden lifestyle provides

much comfort and reassurance to the Sandusky's and the Fine's of the

world.

This is why such sick vile persons chose to spend their lives feeding

their filthy predilictions behind the walls of liberal academic

institiutions.

Only there is such reprobate abhorrent behavior validated and

endorsed.

The liberal courts and the liberal alumni ensconced, validating and

endorsing being nothing more than a functioning tentacle of it.

I'm sure there will be plenty of winking and nodding between the judge

and the rest of the alumni .

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 12/20/11 - 08:32 am
0
0
This ruling followed the law,

This ruling followed the law, and it is sad that those who disagree with the LAW choose to attack a fine man like Judge Hall.

This young lady was used by some religious zealots with more money than knowledge of the Constitution. Sad, but true.

Little Lamb
46021
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Little Lamb 12/20/11 - 08:41 am
0
0
Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote,

Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote, “When someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its rules and ethical requirements.”

Curly123053 wrote, “She needs to transfer to North Greenville University or Charleston Southern University.”

Little Lamb wonders, “Do North Greenville University and Charleston Southern University not abide by the ‘rules and ethical requirements’ of the counseling profession?”

saywhatagain
409
Points
saywhatagain 12/20/11 - 08:45 am
0
0
Yes, she should have gone to

Yes, she should have gone to another university to get her degree...a university that is genuinely liberal and thus tolerates all points of view.

onlysane1left
216
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onlysane1left 12/20/11 - 08:47 am
0
0
The analogy the jugde used

The analogy the jugde used made sense. You can not counsel using your personal beliefs, you must use logical, lawful, and sensible reasons. If a person is a bigot, they can not counsel people of another race with sensible reason, because their belief will interfere. This ruling was just. I hope the publicity that Ms. Keeton and the ADF obtained was worth the time and money spent.

Little Lamb
46021
Points
Little Lamb 12/20/11 - 09:24 am
0
0
I realize it's only words

I realize it's only words written by an anonymous Associated Press reporter, but I find the first sentence of this news story a bit chilling:

A federal court has upheld a ruling that Augusta State University was within its rights to require a graduate school counseling student to keep her biblical views on gays to herself.

By extension, universities are allowed to require students to keep their biblical views an any topic to themselves, i.e., no biblical opinions are to be expressed in the classroom. This court ruling could be bigger than most people realize.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 12/20/11 - 09:37 am
0
0
Stevie Wonder could have seen

Stevie Wonder could have seen this outcome. A Federal court upholding the rights of a citizen under the Constitution? That concept died a slow death and became completely moribund in the 90's.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 12/20/11 - 10:25 am
0
0
I think LL is on to

I think LL is on to something. If she is required to keep her pro-Bible views to herself then, using the same standard, others in the university have to keep their anti-Bible opinions to themselves.
I do have to say that Keeton obviously isn't smart enough to be in a graduate program.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 12/20/11 - 10:40 am
0
0
I recieved my BS in Biology

I recieved my BS in Biology from Charleston Southern University. The motto is "Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment". My time there was not substandard. I believe they upheld the rules and ethical standards of any university. I also believe some of the rules were more strict than any other publicly funded institution. She may have a harder time there than at ASU.

KSL
129493
Points
KSL 12/20/11 - 10:40 am
0
0
If you are in private

If you are in private practice, why do you not get to choose the type of patients or clients you work with? My dad's law firm did not take on the defense of child abusers. I remember that he did take a case where Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters' Union were treating several of their dues paying members unfairly, not providing them the support they were promised.

Granted, she was in school. She should have just bucked up, and endured that period before graduating. I did, when it came to social work. But wait, I didn't have to deal with a lot of unwed mothers who took no responsibility and relied on the government to provide for them after dropping out of school.

Little Lamb
46021
Points
Little Lamb 12/20/11 - 10:40 am
0
0
I have met many advanced

I have met many advanced degree holders who didn't seem to be smart at all!

KSL
129493
Points
KSL 12/20/11 - 10:42 am
0
0
LL, that happens a lot, these

LL, that happens a lot, these days. See the potus.

Little Lamb
46021
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Little Lamb 12/20/11 - 10:44 am
0
0
KSL mentioned something that

KSL mentioned something that I posted in a previous article on this lawsuit. That is, when you are in college, your obligation as a student is to figure out what your professor expects and then regurgitate that back to the professor, whether you like it or not. Then, after you get your degree you can proceed as you like.

itsanotherday
0
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itsanotherday 12/20/11 - 10:47 am
0
0
Little LambTuesday, Dec. 20
Unpublished

Little LambTuesday, Dec. 20 9:40 AMnew

[I have met many advanced degree holders who didn't seem to be smart at all!]

I have a relative with a masters in education that is as dumb as a post.

KSL
129493
Points
KSL 12/20/11 - 10:53 am
0
0
LL, that is an unfortunate

LL, that is an unfortunate obligation. Decades ago, that was not the obligation you had in an Ivy League school. You just had to prove your supposition to the satisfaction of your professor. It wasn't how right or wrong you were, but how well you supported your thesis.

KSL
129493
Points
KSL 12/20/11 - 11:01 am
0
0
Sorry, but that says it all,

Sorry, but that says it all, "masters in education." I had what some would call a useless major in college, a major in English. Refused to take those courses in education. So I got a second major. My grandfather was born in 1880 and he went to college and became a Superintendent of the County Schools. His teachers didn't enjoy the experience of the first "education course" but they were excellent teachers. I'm certain you all have heard of square roots. Did you know they used to teach kids cube root? My mother can still do those.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 12/20/11 - 11:17 am
0
0
Education majors as a whole

Education majors as a whole score at or near the bottom on the GRE. I have long believed that education should be a certificate program rather than a major. Get a degree in History, for instance, and then a certification in education.

kiwiinamerica
942
Points
kiwiinamerica 12/20/11 - 11:58 am
0
0
Most of you folks don't get
Unpublished

Most of you folks don't get it. At all.

Is this really America? A university which is funded on my dime and your dime has the right to tell you and me to keep our mouths shut about our religious beliefs? They can take my tax money and then threaten me if I question their teachings and dogma?

There's also a subplot here concerning the degree to which the psychological profession has embraced the notion that homosexuality is normal behavior. That's material for a long essay in itself. However, the LARGER issue here, is the degree to which those in government, those who are paid by the taxpayer, will prosecute, persecute and attempt to silence anyone who holds a contrary opinion.

Welcome to academia, where critical thinking, independent thinking, freedom of expression and questioning of the status quo are welcomed. Unless of course, the status quo happens to be one of the sacred liberal gods (small "g"). Then you'll find yourself on the receiving end of fascism as you've never experienced it.

And most of all, welcome to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Amerika, where free speech and the active living out of your religious beliefs will see you sentenced to a re-education camp......excuse me........"counseling"........like this young woman. Think that this persecution is confined to the psychological professions like that which this young woman was attempting to enter? It isn't. The educational establishment has been completely white-anted by this thinking to the point that anyone expressing the view that homosexuality is abnormal behavior, will find themselves disciplined and attacked.

Now here's the really bad news. The churches are next. Yep, that includes most of you folks. It's just a small step from where we are now to the point that ANY teaching against homosexual behavior will be labeled a hate crime, subject to the usual sanctions, of course. Does your church teach that homosexuality is sinful behavior? See you in the gulag, comrades.

This young woman is a hero, IMHO.

Pass the popcorn and turn the channel to "Dancing with the Stars". The dumbing down of Amerika continues.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 12/20/11 - 03:13 pm
0
0
This courts ruling endorsed

This courts ruling endorsed the humanist religion which preaches deviant sex, supports child molestors, the spread of aids, and other deviant destructive behavior.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 12/20/11 - 04:22 pm
0
0
I cannot help but laugh at

I cannot help but laugh at those who think that are smarter, than our current President. I wonder why, they will not run for the office?

KSL
129493
Points
KSL 12/20/11 - 04:40 pm
0
0
ispy, we don't all have egos

ispy, we don't all have egos that need to be fed.

Just wondering, how did the subject of our current president get in to your thinking on this thread?

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 12/20/11 - 06:03 pm
0
0
ispy, fallacy appeal to

ispy, fallacy appeal to authority. look in to it.

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