A Georgia graduate student in school counseling has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Augusta State University of violating her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion by demanding that she work to change her religious beliefs opposing homosexuality.
“Miss Keeton will not be able to successfully complete the remediation plan and thus complete the counseling program unless she commits to affirming the propriety of gay and lesbian relationships …”—Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, Augusta State University official
Jennifer Keeton alleges that faculty members and administrators at the university have violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion by threatening to expel her from the College of Education’s counselor-education program if she does not fulfill the requirements of a remediation plan designed to get her mind right regarding deviant sexual practices.
The plan requires that Keeton attend workshops on serving diverse populations, read articles on counseling homosexuals, bisexuals, and transvestites, and submit reports to an overseer summarizing what she has learned. The plan also requires that Keeton interact with practicing homosexuals and attend the local homosexual pride parade. Keeton has refused to comply.
“A public-university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform.”—David French, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund
Keeton’s Christian convictions regarding human sexuality and gender identity differs with the university’s doctrine of political correctness. Keeton’s belief that homosexual behavior is immoral and that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle conflicts with psychiatry’s views on sexual deviancy accepted as the norm by those who provide counseling for women and men engaged in homosexuality.
For more on the Keeton story, see Augusta State U. Is Accused of Requiring a Counseling Student to Accept Homosexuality by Peter Schmidt and ‘Lose Christianity or face expulsion’ by Bob Unruh.