Another shining example of political correctness running amok.
Ian Tuttle of The College Fix reports.
Efforts To Defend Christian Students Denounced, Dubbed ‘Discrimination’
When Julea Ward, a Christian and a graduate student in Eastern Michigan University’s counseling program, asked a professor if she should refer, rather than treat, a student seeking guidance about a homosexual relationship, she was hauled before a university review board and expelled.
More recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing a lower court’s ruling, declared that the university violated Ward’s First Amendment rights. Ward received $75,000 in a settlement.
This month, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill inspired by Ward’s case that would prohibit public universities from disciplining students who “refuse to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the student, if the student refers the client to a counselor who will provide the counseling services.”
The measure, sponsored in the House by Democrat John J. DeBerry and in the senate by Republican Joey Hensley, is a common-sense measure to protect the conscience rights of students in counseling, social work, and psychology programs.
The Michigan House last year passed a bill with this exact wording, and Arizona passed into law a similar measure in 2011.
Blame much of the ongoing controversy over the bill on the media. Raw Story introduced the story with the headline, “Tennessee Bill Allows Christian Counselors to Reject Suicidal LGBT Students.” Huffington Post writer William McGuinness hedged, “While arguably sensational, the headline is true,” then went on to grind his axe: “The bill claims student counselors are protected based on a constitutional prohibition of religious discrimination, while basically letting counselors discriminate against clients based on their sexual orientation.”
Left out of both the Huffington Post and Raw Story coverage is the bill’s crucial if clause: the school cannot discipline “if the student refers the client to a counselor who will provide the counseling services.”
Efforts To Defend Christian Students Denounced, Dubbed ‘Discrimination’ (The College Fix)