Remember Julea Ward?
She was the graduate student in counseling at Eastern Michigan University who refused to treat a suicidal gay student because her Christianity prevented her from “helping him feel better about himself.”
Thankfully, a judge dismissed her case in 2010, saying that EMU was right to kick her out of their grad school program.
Michigan’s House — the one that can’t bring itself to say the word “vagina” — passed a bill on Tuesday with a 59-50 vote to prevent schools in the state from ever doing that again. Because, you know, EMU is the real problem here… Now, the bill goes to the State Senate.
House Bill No. 5040 (a.k.a. The “Julea Ward freedom of conscience act”) blocks a school from punishing any student who refuses to counsel a client because of a “sincerely held religious belief.”
A public degree or certificate granting college, university, junior college, or community college of this state shall not discipline or discriminate against a student in a counseling, social work, or psychology program because the student refuses 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 or services.
So if you’re gay, good luck if you get a Christian counselor in Michigan.
Just to be clear, this bill only applies to religious beliefs. As reader Julien pointed out in an email, an animal-lover would still be required (and rightfully so, one could argue) to help a client get over his fear of guns so he can go hunting. But a Christian counselor with homophobia can tell a client to go fuck himself.
Just like Jesus would’ve done.