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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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jiclemens
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jiclemens 07/24/10 - 02:51 pm
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Scoop, your continued

Scoop, your continued comments are enough evidence. You just parrot baseless assumptions about gays and try to back it up with religious nonsense. It is an insult to the dignity of gays and to religion.

Emerydan
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Emerydan 07/24/10 - 02:52 pm
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You people are missing the

You people are missing the point entirely! The school never said she had to change her religous beliefs to be in this program.. just not impose her religous beliefs on her patients in her capacity as a counselor. If she wants to preach her religous beliefs, then she should have gone into the seiminary. A clinical counselor must be objective, open minded and keep their own personal beliefs to themselves when dealing with patients.. this is the cardinal golden rule of counseling. What if you had a muslim in this program who was trying to impose their belief system onto patients.. such as a battered woman comes in for counseling, and they said something to the effect that under islamic law this is pewrmitted because women must be subjugated by their husbands. How would you feel about that? If you cannot remain an objective listener (and that is 80% of counseling) then you really need to find another profession to get into, either that or join some sort of ministry program.

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 07/24/10 - 02:52 pm
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only to you jiclemens, only

only to you jiclemens, only to you! LOL

soyamericana
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soyamericana 07/24/10 - 02:54 pm
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she even kind of looks like

she even kind of looks like Anne Coulter.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 07/24/10 - 02:56 pm
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I've never found much dignity

I've never found much dignity in religion (and certainly not in homosexuality). Religion, in general, has done more harm that good. Christianity, on the other hand, is a relationship with Jesus Christ, and has little to do with "religion". Anyone can put together a religion. Only Christ could found Christianity. Big difference.

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 07/24/10 - 02:55 pm
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emerydan, I think you miss

emerydan, I think you miss the point. Jennifer's assertion is that the school is requiring her to changer her beliefs to graduate. Now either she can prove that or she can't. She never said she wanted to push her religion on anyone. How did you know the school never said she had to change her beliefs? If you know then I am sure the school would love to call you as a witness.

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 07/24/10 - 02:56 pm
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howcanweknow, Amen!

howcanweknow, Amen!

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 02:57 pm
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She was not told to attend

She was not told to attend gay diversity training, only diversity training. She WILL need to become more open minded, no matter what the Bible says. This is the world we live in, if you can't contain your opinions of why those "sinners" around you are going to be condemned, then you too would benefit from some diversity training. I think everyone would. We could all benefit from learning more about our brothers and sisters.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 07/24/10 - 02:58 pm
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Dixieman, your 9:19am post

Dixieman, your 9:19am post was very witty and touched all of the bases. Since the school hasn't responded, we only have one side of the suit...your post should have opened the relief valve and depressured this situation, at least until ASU responds to the suit.
Oh yeah, it was also very funny.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 07/24/10 - 02:58 pm
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It wasn't a "Diversity Pride

It wasn't a "Diversity Pride Parade" that she was told to attend. It was very specific.

jiclemens
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jiclemens 07/24/10 - 02:59 pm
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Wow, first ICL claims in an

Wow, first ICL claims in an old post the Old Testament is no longer relevant and Howcan claims Christianity is not a religion. Are people here making this stuff up as they go?

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:00 pm
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I'm sure that none of you can

I'm sure that none of you can say that you have done everything the bible said for you to do. The things that are really sins (in my opinion) are things that cause hurt or damage. Sexual orientation does no such thing. I'm straight, I pray to my God, I have faith that he loves each one of us and that we all have a moral compass instilled in us that would be there without the Bible.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 07/24/10 - 03:02 pm
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The ugly comments from the

The ugly comments from the secular left are very typical of the mess taught in our government schools. This fact in no way makes any of those comments true.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 07/24/10 - 03:03 pm
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JIClem, nope. Not at all. If

JIClem, nope. Not at all. If you look up the general definition of "religion", you see that it is normally defined as a set of rules and regulations that, if obeyed, will help you reach "the next level" -- however you define it (Nirvana, heaven, cosmic consciousness, better karma, etc.). Christianity is the antithesis of that definition. Christianity teaches that there is no way you can ever be good enough for heaven. We're all sinners doomed to hell. The only way we can get to heaven was for God Himself to step off the throne, be born as a man, and die in our place -- suffering our penalty.

C.S. Lewis was once asked what is the difference between Christianity and religion. He responded, "That's easy -- GRACE". You won't find the concept of grace in religion, only in Christianity.

So, yes indeed, I submit that Christianity is far less a "religion", but is 100% a relationship with Jesus Christ

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 07/24/10 - 03:03 pm
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increasethepeace, you are

increasethepeace, you are desparetly wrong... homosexuality causes more damage and pain then you will ever know. Disease, broken relationships with God and others and the list goes on and on; just check with the counseling offices how many homosexuals have problems. How bout a mom and Dad that are weeping over a homosexual kid?

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:04 pm
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Emerydan -- my point exactly.

Emerydan -- my point exactly.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 07/24/10 - 03:04 pm
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increasethepeace, although

increasethepeace, although this may be the world we live in...as Christians we are not to be of this world or follow worldly ways. Maybe it would be a good idea if all the non-believers, bible bashers, Christian haters, attend some diversity training to understand that not everyone believes as they do.

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:06 pm
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scoop - I understand that you

scoop - I understand that you have a different view point. We just disagree. Homosexuality does not hurt any one. Heterosexuals have just as many diseases, broken relationships with god and so on. I'm thankful that we live in a country where these radical beliefs are not actually in control and people have the freedom to go their own way.

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 07/24/10 - 03:06 pm
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AMEN, AMEN AMEN tell is it

AMEN, AMEN AMEN tell is it like it is ICL!!!!!!!!!!!

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:08 pm
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Inchristlove-I'm very aware

Inchristlove-I'm very aware that all people have very different beliefs. I'm not asking you to change yours, only to accept others as long as they are doing no harm. I attended church for several years, searched for God, and have found my own path to him. I am very spiritual, and accept your beliefs. I don't believe that homosexuality causes any harm. They should never be compared to alcoholics or pedophiles like stories printed in this paper so often seem to do.

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:10 pm
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And - I've taken human

And - I've taken human diversity classes. At ASU actually.In no way way was sexual orientation the focus of the class. We talked about many different religions, something that I have always enjoyed learning about.

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:12 pm
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I don't hate Christians. Why

I don't hate Christians. Why would I? I don't appreciate being told that I hate anyone. And I haven't bashed the bible.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 07/24/10 - 03:12 pm
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Increasepeace, I respect your

Increasepeace, I respect your opinions here. But, I respectfully point out that if "your path" to God does not involve Jesus Christ, then you've fallen off the path. Jesus said he was the only path back to God. I don't want to try and argue Jesus down and tell Him that my path is just as good as His. Peace to you.

David in Houston
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David in Houston 07/24/10 - 03:13 pm
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@ scoopdedoop64: Exodus

@ scoopdedoop64: Exodus International has already been exposed as a fraud. The original founders (two heterosexually married ex-gay men) ended up in a same-sex relationship for 10 years. One of them recently said that he never saw a single person ever change their sexual orientation.

The same can be said for NARTH. One of the founders, Dr. George Rekers was caught hiring a gay male escort to travel with him to Europe. He has spent the past 20 years telling people you can change your orientation. Apparently, 20 years of self-taught therapy wasn't quite enough for Mr. Rekers to kick the "gay" habit was it?

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:15 pm
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see howcanweknow, that's what

see howcanweknow, that's what I mean. Pushing. I'm not scared. You can't scare me into believing what you believe. and your username says it all: HOW CAN WE KNOW who is wrong and who is right? Other than basing it on faith. Which we all have different opinions on. All we can do is treat people fairly and as we would want to be treated.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 07/24/10 - 03:16 pm
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A few weeks back the AC ran a

A few weeks back the AC ran a story (Faith Section, I believe) that told of a minister who focused on homosexual recovery. It was very interesting, and he testified that there were indeed success stories where former homosexuals had been converted to heterosexuality. So, it is indeed possible -- if the desire is there, of course.

freeradical
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freeradical 07/24/10 - 03:18 pm
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Increasethepeace, There is a

Increasethepeace,

There is a scientific reason why other than those with medical conditions

the only reason that anyone is prevented from donating blood is because

of destructive lifestyle choices.

Homosexuality being one.

This is science .

danjam101
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danjam101 07/24/10 - 03:19 pm
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This young woman is a

This young woman is a disgusting piece of work. I do pray she is defeated in court and doesn't graduate. I mean, why on earth would she pursue a career like this when she is no narrow minded? Dangerous really. I really have a lot of rage over her, but do not want to play like the anti-gay Christians here - I hope if she does graduate everyone watches her and complains to her employer if she ever does by any thin chance get a job. Even if it at Wendy's.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 07/24/10 - 03:19 pm
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increasepeace, interesting

increasepeace, interesting that you quote Jesus Christ's "Golden Rule" as one of the rules you live by. Great. I applaud you for that recognition of Christ's wisdom. Why then do you deny Christ's claim to be the only way to God? Are you saying that you're OK with some of Jesus' teaching, but reject others? Is that fair? In my opinion, you take Jesus as truth or a lie -- He actually said that as well. So, I don't think you can have it both ways. Do you believe the teachings of Christ or do you deny them?

increasethepeace
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increasethepeace 07/24/10 - 03:20 pm
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I'm aware of that. And I

I'm aware of that. And I haven't ever been pro-gay. I just know that they are not being destructive. It may be true that the kind of sex they preform may be slightly more destructive than regular sex, but it is still not hurting anyone else.

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