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ASU student says gays have 'identity confusion'

Woman says allegations of conversion therapy are false

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A student who is suing Augusta State University says she considers gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lifestyles as "identity confusion," and shared those views in class discussions and written assignments.

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Augusta State University graduate student Jennifer Keeton has filed a lawsuit against the university that names assistant professors Paulette Schenck and Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley.   Special
Special
Augusta State University graduate student Jennifer Keeton has filed a lawsuit against the university that names assistant professors Paulette Schenck and Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley.

Jennifer Keeton, a 24-year-old graduate student, said in an e-mail Friday that she had told Paulette Schenck, an ASU assistant professor named as a defendant in the suit, that homosexuality is a behavioral choice. However, Keeton said allegations by college officials that she would encourage conversion therapy on students or her clients is false.

ASU and state Board of Regents officials said Friday they couldn't talk about the lawsuit, which claims ASU professors demanded Keeton suppress her views on homosexuals to remain in a counseling program.

School spokeswoman Kathy Schofe said the university has not been served with the legal paperwork but officials are aware that Keeton is suing the university.

John Millsaps, a Regents spokesman, said the lawsuit has muzzled both the university and state officials.

Schofe said much the same, but added: "Hopefully, I'll be able to comment soon, because we're being slammed."

She said commenting on Keeton's academic standing would violate the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. She also said university faculty do not discriminate in regards to religious or moral beliefs.

The counselor education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs, and more than 250 students have graduated from the program, Schofe said.

The counseling program follows the American School Counselor Association's ethical standards, which specify that counselors in training must "recognize and accept" individual differences, cultural diversity and alternative points of view.

In her suit, Keeton, who wants to become a school counselor, claims Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, an ASU associate professor, requested that Keeton take part in a remediation plan because of her beliefs about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

Keeton was ordered to take part in diversity training and write two-page reflection papers monthly on how "her study has influenced her beliefs," according to court documents. The lawsuit claims that Keeton will be removed from the ASU counseling program if she does not comply with the plan.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance that supports religious freedom, filed the suit for Keeton in U.S. District Court in Augusta on Wednesday. The agency has declined to allow Keeton to be interviewed, but she has responded to submitted e-mail questions.

Elizabeth Evans, of Louisville, said she had a similar experience when she began the counselor education program at ASU in 1995. After taking three courses, Evans said she was interviewed by a panel of professors who questioned her religious beliefs.

"I told them I think homosexuality is wrong. The Bible speaks against it," she said. "I was not admitted to the program, because of my beliefs. When I read the article, my heart hurt for Jennifer."

Evans said she decided to pursue a master's degree in early childhood education at the university. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree.

Though she found her calling, she said Christian students at the university should not be treated as Keeton has.

"I can't believe they suggested that she go to the gay pride parade," Evans said. "I hope she sues the pants off of them."


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Reverie
48
Points
Reverie 07/24/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
Now that others have come

Now that others have come forward about their experience with the counseling department's panel, this sounds like institutionalized religious discrimination. How many were outright rejected from the program or were pressured out of the program after the panel questioned their beliefs? I wonder how many Muslims were pressured out, because you know how accepting the Islamic religion is of homosexuals? I've heard of the dream police, is this the belief police?

dinohntr
14
Points
dinohntr 07/24/10 - 08:51 am
0
0
Jennifer Keeton has a moral

Jennifer Keeton has a moral issue and religious belief on which she stands. Good for her. And I applaud her for challenging her professors in class. There are many college students who just accept what is taught and spoken in college classrooms.

But I wonder if this situation is an example of:

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Once she gets her degree, she can apply to a Christian school and be a school counselor.

Suzy Q
0
Points
Suzy Q 07/24/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
Probably has her bedroom

Probably has her bedroom plastered with posters of Dr. Laura....

momster59
0
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momster59 07/24/10 - 08:56 am
0
0
How do these conservative

How do these conservative christians decide which laws to follow?
The bible also tells us
1. to stone our son to death if he is rebellious
2. to beat our children
3. that if a man states his bride is not a virgin on her wedding night to take her to her father's steps and the men of the town are to stone her.
4. that slavery is alright, so long as the slave is not from your nationality.
5. not to eat pork, shellfish, animal fat, dairy with meat
6. that if a woman claims to have been raped and did not cry out that she committed fornication and is to be stoned.
7. that if a woman is raped and did cry out then the rapist has only to pay her father a bride price of 50 shekels and she must marry the rapist.
8. that a woman should not paint her face (Jennifer obviously ignores that one)
9. that a person should have no piercings (nice earrings Jennifer)
10. that a man can have four wives, but a woman only one.
The list could fill up the entire page, but I'll stop here. How do you decide how to pick and choose?
I'm glad I didn't stone my son to death when he was rebellious.

freeradical
1030
Points
freeradical 07/24/10 - 09:05 am
0
0
Newsflash for ASU staff: The

Newsflash for ASU staff:

The reason medical blood donation centers strongly discriminate

againest homosexuals has not a thing to do with their "beliefs".

Their discrimination againest homosexuals is factually based in science,

statistics, etc,etc, as well as the cold hard truth.

Your academic make believe land of dim understanding, notwithstanding.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 07/24/10 - 09:00 am
0
0
lsmith @8:30AM I couldn't
Unpublished

lsmith @8:30AM I couldn't have said it better myself. That's exactly the case.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 07/24/10 - 09:03 am
0
0
freeradical I am

freeradical I am heterosexual and cannot give blood because I lived in Germany from 1987 -1991. Does that mean there's something scientifically wrong with the Germans?

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 07/24/10 - 09:03 am
0
0
Wow. If anyone even hints

Wow. If anyone even hints that homosexuality might be the least bit abnormal (which nature tells us it is), the apologists come screaming out of the woodwork to immediately heap personal insults on anyone who dares make that suggestion. How revealing that they passionately demand tolerance for all things homosexual, but then are vehemently intolerant of anyone that might disagree. When someone stoops to personal insults instead reasonable rebuttal, this only reveals their own insecurity in their beliefs. Sad.

The issue here is not about homosexuality. The issue is whether a public institution has the "right" to force someone to discard their religious convictions in order to submit to personal convictions of faculty. Where's academic freedom, free speech, and tolerance here? Again, seems like folks love to tout tolerance as the highest modern virtue -- as long as you agree with them. But, just let someone suggest that there might be another viewpoint, and hell hath no fury like a hypocrite scorned.

freeradical
1030
Points
freeradical 07/24/10 - 09:04 am
0
0
Momster, No.

Momster,

No.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 07/24/10 - 09:06 am
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We are not intolerant of your

We are not intolerant of your personal lifestyle, just intolerant of your intolerance.
By the way, an entire range of people are precluded from giving blood.

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 07/24/10 - 09:06 am
0
0
I am a Christian but I do not

I am a Christian but I do not support what this woman is doing. As a Christian and an American citizen she had the right to choose a profession. She has every right to be a counselor BUT were she messed up at was when she decided she could not seperate her rights as a citizen over her beliefs. You can not impose your beliefs on those that don't want it. I can't stand when church groups or mormons come to my house. Most Christians would be saying "WHY?" If I am already a Christian then why do you feel then need to try to get me to come to YOUR church or READ your version of the Bible. I try to be nice to these folks but they just don't get it. I was approached by some Mormons one day and I was as nice as I could be. I told them I was already a Christian and hoped they had a nice day. I didn't want a copy of their Mormon Bible because I have a copy of the Holy Bible several in fact. I have had different church groups stop by in the middle of the afternoon "inviting" me to attend their church. When I tell them I am a member of another church it does not get them off my front porch any faster. I know that it says in the Bible to go and tell others but if those others have already got the message and they tell you then say thanks for your time and GO!

foxjamin
0
Points
foxjamin 07/24/10 - 09:09 am
0
0
How long before she's on fox

How long before she's on fox news expounding on how she was discriminated by the liberals?

freeradical
1030
Points
freeradical 07/24/10 - 09:20 am
0
0
Momster, Newsflash: Other

Momster,

Newsflash:

Other than medical reasons, the only thing that will cause you to be

strongly dicriminated againest by medical blood donation centers is

living a destructive lifestyle, drugs , prostitution, homosexual behavior,

etc,etc,,,,,.

Destructive lifestyles that would most definately make you a candidate

for "counseling".

It is scientifically, and factually, plain and proven as the noonday sun for

all. The exception being the cognitively slack inhabitants of the ASU land

of make believe.

rmwhitley
5508
Points
rmwhitley 07/24/10 - 09:22 am
0
0
Unfortunately, the minority
Unpublished

Unfortunately, the minority communnites are given a free pass to whine and cry discrimination at every corner. There are no "heterosexual pride" parades. Get the point?

momster59
0
Points
momster59 07/24/10 - 09:25 am
0
0
freeradical - it could also

freeradical - it could also be because of hemophilia, risk of prion disease and a whole long laundry list that has nothing to do with lifestyle choices.
Actually, considering how many heterosexuals now have HIV, homosexuals should no longer be precluded from giving blood, just screened like the rest of society prone to HIV.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 07/24/10 - 09:27 am
0
0
rmwhitly There were more

rmwhitly There were more heterosexuals at the parade than homosexuals. There were full families, mother, father, children. The parade and festival was about the right to love whom you choose and taking pride in who you are not matter how God made you.

freeradical
1030
Points
freeradical 07/24/10 - 09:28 am
0
0
Momster, Those would be the

Momster,

Those would be the "medical reasons" mentioned.

Please try and keep up.

cdharrison
23
Points
cdharrison 07/24/10 - 09:29 am
0
0
Put the shoe on the other

Put the shoe on the other foot: If you were a believer, would you want a vocal Atheist, as your counselor? These people are supposed to help others, not force their ideology on others. It's simply not *ethical* to force your belief system on someone else, especially in the context of counseling. It's not uncommon for counselors to refer cases they aren't comformtable with, but what's going to happen in a school setting? She's likely going to be the first person a troubled kid is going to speak to. When they reveal that they think they're gay, what is a referral going to say to that kid? You don't matter? You're going to hell? She really needs to think this through.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 07/24/10 - 09:30 am
0
0
For those of you whose mental

For those of you whose mental minds are still nailed tightly shut, do not think you have a victory over me if I don't respond to your future jibes, I just have a 100 foot rock wall I'm going to climb in Columbia. While climbing, I will pray for your enlightenment.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 07/24/10 - 09:42 am
0
0
Momster59: I wasn't there but
Unpublished

Momster59: I wasn't there but spoke to some who were and read the news reports and blogs. Perhaps you will disagree with my own perception of the reasoning as to WHY heterosexual famlies with children were at that parade. 1....everyone LOVES a parade, particularly children. and 2....This parade/rally was purposely billed, marketed and reported well in advance to be an 'AUGUSTA PRIDE" parade. Most all of such events are promeniently promoted as "GAY PRIDE PARADES". Some folks had no clue it was designed to give gays an opportunity to kiss and hold hands in a high profile manner. The organizers used a slight of hand in ommission to pump up support and attendance. Very smart public relations I might add.

freeradical
1030
Points
freeradical 07/24/10 - 10:02 am
0
0
In fairness to the

In fairness to the inhabitants of the ASU land of make believe.

The pronounced special attention, and concern, emphasized in their

counseling program as it pertains to homosexual

behavior and its inherent destructive consequences is not without

statisical merit.

And I do empathize up to that point.

Per capita, the destructive homosexual lifestyle, and it's associated

psychosexual neurosis, and hangups, make it much more likely

that they will be seeking counseling, than the average person.

The CDC's statistics on per capita sexual disease, domestic

violence, as

well as premature death support ASU's position that counseling of

those engaging in homosexual behavior would be a most, if not the

most significant factor to be considered by those making this a

career choice.

Med College guy 64
0
Points
Med College guy 64 07/24/10 - 10:00 am
0
0
I am a Christian and I

I am a Christian and I believe in science. Actually I graduated with a Master of Science degree- the two are not opposed.

I am curious to hear ASU's side of the story. It is one thing to require someone to demonstrate that they understand certain principles in a field. She should demonstrate that she understands the research about homosexuality, gender, etc. But to police her thoughts and convictions is one of the most disturbing things I have ever heard. If this is indeed what ASU is doing, they need to be ordered to allow her to graduate. Schools are supposed to be a place, maybe THE place, where people are able to think freely. To speak freely.

I believe in most of the theory of evolution- but not all of it. I passed my undergrad Biology courses where I had to demonstrate my understanding of the subject. I did not have to demonstrate a change in my convictions.

It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in, especially when it goes against the grain of society and could cost you a degree that you worked so hard for. If this is indeed what Jennifer is doing, if she is in fact being persecuted for her beliefs, then I pray that God will help her to leap for joy as the Bible says that she is counted worthy of suffering for the Name.

Why is everything tolerable except "intolerance"? Isn't that hypocritical? So many are saying to her, "How dare you judge!" That is by point of fact judging her. Use your own spirit of permitting anything to permit her to have her own beliefs.

I myself stand by her assertion: That the Bible is the word of God. God created man and woman for one another. We all have tendencies but we also have choices. Homosexual activity is a sin- but so is sex outside of marriage, adultery, pornography, etc. We must all take stock of our lives, take responsibility for our own choices, and turn to the God that loves us and is such an incredibly patient Father. He is patient with us, and ultimately each of us will stand before Him and give account of the life He gave us.

I am not arguing that these things be legislated- sadly I know many Christians that take this approach, and it is wrong. But this is supposed to be a country in which Freedom of Speech and Religion are protected. Whether you are a Christian or not, if a college is threatening not to graduate someone based on their beliefs, you may one day find yourself or your child in the same boat. Then where will you stand?

follower
59
Points
follower 07/24/10 - 10:19 am
0
0
Momster, earlier you posted

Momster, earlier you posted many Old Testament laws that address sins that seem minor to humans, but are detestable to God [ranking degrees of sin is the attempt of man to justify himself and his behavior]. It's painfully obvious that we, being human, couldn't live up to God's standard. The cost for not meeting His standard is death. That is why He sent His Son, to be the payment for our sin. Our debt was paid for those that accept the gift.
At the same time, more than rules, it is the intent of the heart that God now sees. His standard has not changed, but for those who are "in Christ" there is no condemnation.
It is not exclusionary as many would have you believe, but His grace is sufficient for all, although all will not accept.
If you don't believe it, it's your call. True Chirstians will not be judgemental, but loving, and pray for all.
I can't say whether this young lady is right or wrong without all of the facts. We've only heard one side. But all of the name calling and hateful words on this post are disheartening, and speak directly as to how scripture describes society.

InChristLove
22411
Points
InChristLove 07/24/10 - 10:27 am
0
0
I would have thought that

I would have thought that after yesterdays article with over 700 post, that all the hateful venom would have been spilled but after reading these few post here today I can see there's still more to go around.

Momster, as like yesterday, the laws given in the Old Testament to the Israelites to keep them righteous and close to God we no longer have to live under. We have the New Covenant through Jesus Christ and continuing to post these and try and make some kind of statement shows your inability to understand the Bible and the Grace of our Lord.

As follower posted, we do not have the whole story and to continue to post all the hateful comments on here is useless.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 07/24/10 - 10:40 am
0
0
rmwhitleySaturday, Jul. 24

rmwhitleySaturday, Jul. 24 9:22 AM Unfortunately, the minority communnites are given a free pass to whine and cry discrimination at every corner. There are no "heterosexual pride" parades. Get the point?
---------------------------
A free pass? Minorities have continually been discriminated against by oppressive majorities who usually come loaded for bear in bribing the government to continue to enforce their ridiculous and petty discrimination usually in the name of their hateful religion. Should blacks have just given up their quest to get equal rights from the government who oppressed them at the request of these same Christian bigots? Should women have given up their quest to vote from the government who oppressed them at the request of these same Christians bigots?

Ms. Keeton's lawsuit is about her wanting a degree while failing to meet the requirements set by ASU and the ACA's Code of Ethics. It only has to do with religion in her closed mind as no documented proof in the lawsuit contains any mention of religion from ASU staff.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 07/24/10 - 10:43 am
0
0
To those who believe that

To those who believe that Jesus coming to earth destroyed the entire use of the Old Testament you must have forgotten his statement that He had NOT come to destroy the old testament law. Why in the world would you think that God would send HIS Son to earth to destroy what had determined right or wrong since creation? Tolerance and love do not mean that one has to accept what is wrong in another lifestyle. We all probably have family and friends who are homosexual yet we love them and NOT their lifestyle. God is the judge of whether or not they make heaven but if one reads that same new testament that some believe destroys the previous testament, one will read the list of who will NOT make heaven and that might be a good idea for those doubters. But the point here is that our country was founded on religious freedom at a time and place when Judaeo-Christian principle was the predominant theme and that theme soaks our founding documents. One does not have to subscribe to those beliefs but a true American will understand that those ARE the founding documents on which our country stands. One has the option of not believing in God but does NOT have the option of telling everyone else that they too must not accept Him. Somehow the most liberal people have come to be professors in our colleges; Christians have a right to attend publicly funded colleges as do other students but they must not be intimidated by professors who subscribe to the belief that every aberration is allowable and all is right with the world. If there are absolutely NO standards within the world of counseling, what is the reason and basis for even participating? Everything seems to be fine as long as you accept any and everything but if you happen to KNOW that God is and that the Creator knows the most about creation you're made an outcast. Perhaps this lawsuit will bring an end to such beliefs. Professors supposedly are there to bring knowledge, not to try to warp ones own belief standards.

gobsmacked
0
Points
gobsmacked 07/24/10 - 10:46 am
0
0
Datarelease - I was not aware

Datarelease - I was not aware that science was investigating the existence of God. While it's true that most members of the National Academy of Science are not believers, that has nothing to do with any imagined direct scientific proof of divine non-existence. Science does not investigate the truth-value of statements about God, free will, and immortality. These are not suitable subjects for scientific investigation.

Sociology doesn't shred ideology in the normative sense although it may contradict empirical statements crucial to ideological systems of thought. You can check out many essays of Stanley Fish which analyze the social origins of ideology and other beliefs and preferences, but say little or nothing about truth or falsehood. Galileo's work may have found its roots in early modern technology and the economic milieu of the period, but that doesn't make his work false. It has no bearing on the validity of his experiments or their interpretation.

As for psychoanalysis.....now you're really expressing your own faith if you take that for science. There is no agreed upon set of basic findings in psychoanalysis. It's a lot like religion in that way.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 07/24/10 - 10:47 am
0
0
"Momster, as like yesterday,

"Momster, as like yesterday, the laws given in the Old Testament to the Israelites to keep them righteous and close to God we no longer have to live under. We have the New Covenant through Jesus Christ and continuing to post these and try and make some kind of statement shows your inability to understand the Bible and the Grace of our Lord." It's obvious that you missed the part where Jesus Himself said that He had not come to destroy the law. Surely some of the admonitions in the old testament were specific to those people concerned, but the law stands on its own, not having been discredited by Jesus' own words. Abomination then is abomination now.

Dixieman
12479
Points
Dixieman 07/24/10 - 10:49 am
0
0
Unless someone posts here

Unless someone posts here that they think my earlier posts were funny, I am going to delete this entire blog and all your comments.

gobsmacked
0
Points
gobsmacked 07/24/10 - 10:50 am
0
0
Howcanweknow - I don't see

Howcanweknow - I don't see how nature has told you that homosexuality is abnormal. There are many instances of cannibalism in species other than humans. Does that have any bearing whatsoever on its moral acceptability or normality? You'll never derive an "ought" from an "is."

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