Judge Tells Christian Counseling Student That Her School Was Right to Punish Her for Wanting to Convert Gay Clients

It was only a week ago when the Michigan House of Representatives passed the “Julea Ward freedom of conscience act,” an act that would ban schools from punishing, say, Christian counseling students who don’t want to help gay clients.

Ward wasn’t the only Christian who refused to help people because of their sexual orientation.

Jennifer Keeton was in the same boat at Augusta State University in Georgia. She took things one step further. She made it clear that if any client ever tells her he’s gay, she’s going to respond by telling him he needs to be “cured.” She supported “conversion therapy,” something that doesn’t work and harms the patients.

Jennifer Keeton

In response, her school made her take diversity sensitivity workshops as part of a remediation plan. Keeton refused to participate. The school kicked her out of the program. Keeton sued. She said the school discriminated against her because of her faith. They didn’t, of course, because they weren’t asking her to alter her religious beliefs — she just had to keep them to herself and do her damn job.

Now, a Georgia federal district court has sided with the school (PDF). Yay!

Keeton’s conflation of personal and professional values, or at least her difficulty in discerning the difference, appears to have been rooted in her opinion that the immorality of homosexual relations is a matter of objective and absolute moral truth. The policies which govern the ethical conduct of counselors, however, with their focus on client welfare and self-determination, make clear that the counselor’s professional environs are not intended to be a crucible for counselors to test metaphysical or moral propositions. Plato’s Academy or a seminary the Counselor Program is not; that Keeton’s opinions were couched in absolute or ontological terms does not give her constitutional license to make it otherwise.

Keeton’s allegations do not show that imposition of the remediation plan was substantially motivated by her personal religious views. The plan was instead imposed “because she was unwilling to comply with the ACA Code of Ethics.”

The Judge, James Randal Hall, issued one hell of a ruling, dismissing all of her claims. Most importantly, the judge reiterated the fact that “when someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its rules and ethical requirements.”

Hear that, Christian pharmacists?

It’s the right call. No school has a right to tell you what you have to believe religion-wise, but they have every right to make sure counselors do what’s best for their patients. Keeton was using her faith to harm certain ones and the school had every right to kick her out of their program because of it.

(via Religion Clause)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Jude

    Did you mean ”
    Judge Tells Christian Counseling Student That Her School Was Right to Punish Her for NOT Wanting to Convert Gay Clients”?

    • Jude

      Oops – nemmind. Didn’t read closely.

      Didn’t you use to have an option to delete your own comments?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cristobal.santana.315 Cristobal Santana

    I can see this going horribly.. horribly wrong: 

    Mechanics:  He’s gay? Fuck ‘em.. Don’t fix the brakes and give it back, plus charge them.
    Doctor:  He’s gay?  Let ‘em bleed out.. next patient please. 
    Dentist:  He’s gay?  Sorry, your tooth pain is the least of your worries.
    Lawyer:  He’s gay?  Defend yourself.. good luck!
    Pharmacist:  He’s gay?  You can collect the plants for your meds about 200 miles NE of here.
    Motor Vehicles:  He’s gay?  Would you like a rainbow background on your license and plates?
    Grocer: He’s gay?  You should go grow your own food
    Electric company:  He’s gay?  You better install a bicycle to your electric box or buy a generator. 
    Banker:  He’s gay?  You should borrow money for your student loans/business loan from a friend of family member.

    Do you see how ridiculously hurt this would be?

    While we’re at it, let’s identify them, mark them and open concentration camps.. we’re NOTHING like the Nazis! In my opinion, we’re worse.

    Why can’t people just love and accept people and get over their STUPID religious dogma from books written, edited, and translated multiple times in a dead language by mostly illiterate goat herders (no offense to present-day goat herders, it’s an insult to their intelligence)?

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

      Why can’t they? I think because:

      Straight males drive the church patriarchy, which leads to moralizing based on what those straight males think benefits them, which leads to codifying homosexuality in church moral law as deviant, BECAUSE those straight males can’t handle the buttsecks, particularly between two (or more?) guys.

      Sometimes I think the homophobes lay awake at night horrified by the idea that RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT millions of gay men are boning each other in the bung, and enjoying the hell out of it.

      • The Other Weirdo

         And there you have it, the inevitable–and completely uncalled-for– stab at straight males in general.

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          And there you have, the inevitable — and completely ignorant — straw-man version of what Silo really said.

          Straight males drive the church patriarchy. He didn’t say that ALL straight males in the world/country right now drive it. Just that all of the people who drive the church patriarchy are straight males.

          • Cenotype

            “… all of the people who drive the church patriarchy are straight males.”

            Or, so they claim.

          • allembracing

            While Silo’s sentiments are (in my own opinion very) accurate, The Other Weirdo is making a valid point.  Silo doesn’t have to say “ALL strait males” for his words to be interpreted so.  Silo specifically identified a subculture “Strait males,” without any further clarification toward an additional subset within… which means “ALL strait males” in context.  
            It boils down to sensitivity issues and the potential backlash they may cause.  As a strait male who is employed by a church (though extremely avid in the defense of equal rights and morals for all individuals irregardless of any potential subset of society they belong to) I had an immediate, defensive, reaction similar to The Other Weirdo.  I understood the underlying intent of, or perhaps assumed a poor choice of wording in Silo’s comment and could let it be as I generally agree… until I saw your reply.
            This is /friendlyatheist here and you degraded a person calling his comment “completely ignorant.” The Other Weirdo’s comment is fairly defensive in nature and your response was to attack which is “completely uncalled for”

            • http://www.facebook.com/dale.toy1 Dale Toy

              Disagree. Your ”
              immediate, defensive, reaction,” was an ”
              immediate, defensive,” OVERreaction. He clearly did define a subset by the statement itself. I’m a *straight* male myself, yet I’m (oh so thankfully) not a Christian. Therefore, I for one would have no influence to “drive the church patriarchy.” You’re employed by a church you say, but in what respect? If your job doesn’t include involvement in administrative and/or doctrinal decisions, then you very obviously aren’t included in that group either.

              As TerranRich said, Silo did not say, “ALL straight males.” He simply implied that those who push the homophobic doctrine in religious teachings are almost exclusively straight males, the exceptions being the bat-shit-crazies like Bachmann and Phelps. This statement is logically no different than saying, “Republican politicians control the U.S. House of Representatives.” Would that cause you to infer that every Republican politician is a U.S. Representative? I think not. I have long hair, but I take no affront at the term, “long-haired, dirty, pot-smoking hippies,” because I know it doesn’t apply to me. Or much of anyone anymore, as far as it goes.Two things you need, my friend. Better reading comprehension and a healthily enhanced sense of self. If you know you don’t belong in the group being referred to, don’t be so quick to include yourself in it.

            • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

              I know which site I’m on. Also, you do realize that calling an argument ignorant is NOT the same thing as calling a person ignorant, right? And even if I did call him ignorant, we’re all ignorant about plenty of things. I’m ignorant about how to fix a car. The Other Weirdo was ignorant about his representation of Silo’s argument.

        • DannyEastVillage

           ignore the reality or not, but the fact is that for most of our cultural history, straight privileged white males have held all or almost all the cards and made all the decisions for everybody.  And that, Mr Other Weirdo, is how we got where we are today.  The implications of that history are still being unpacked and will for a long time.  My suggestion to you is, therefore, that you start trying to get used to it because the process won’t be completed till long after your sons and daughters are dead.

        • Dez Crawford

          No — it’s a stab at psychopaths who happen to be straight males.  Not a stab at all straight males.  Pedophiles like CHILDREN.  Whatever children they have ready access to.  In the case of priests and footbal coaches, it’s usually boys. 

      • annon

         If it is straight males that drive the church patriarchy than why are so many of them raping little boys and getting away with it. Last I checked raping an alter boy isn’t very heterosexual. Then again that’s just the catholics, you know, the ones that have the most religious power in the world and don’t help people at all. Yeah, those guys.

        • Rajkalex

          Raping boys has nothing to do with sexuality. It’s about exerting power. I don’t get your Catholic comment. Can’t tell if your are sarcastic or stupid. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

          • WhoaManWtF

            It is a pretty gay way to exert power…

            • fgs

              and studies show that something like 95% of pedophiles are straight

            • anon

              Not many altar girls around in most catholic churches…

              • Dez Crawford

                Excellent point.  Girls get abused when girls are readily available to control and manipulate.  

            • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

               Most pedophiles who claim an adult orientation identify as straight.  It’s only the anti-gays who link being gay with being a pedophile, usually as a scare tactic. 

      • Mike Truth

         Rather than turn Silo’s comment into some inanity about misandry, why not look at the real bigotry embedded in this otherwise well intentioned post? Fact is, not all gay men enjoy anal sex. Many do not. Gay sex is not by definition anal sex. It would behoove people with real interest in equality to dispel of this myth, asap. Source: http://www.good.is/post/gay-sex-is-not-anal-sex/

        • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

           No, not all men engage in anal sex, and not all of them enjoy it.  But silo is right about one thing–the average homophobe is obsessed and single-minded. When they thing “gay”, they think about guys having anal sex.  As far as they’re concerned gay=anal sex.  Read Peter LaBarbera, Bryan Fischer or Matt Staver. Those are three of the most vile homophobes around and they’re always on about “sodomy”, “Sodomy-based marriage” and the like.   What’s more, these bigots love to drill the notion of gay=anal sex into everybody’s head because they know if people are going to the voting booth with that vision in their head, they’re more likely to vote for anti-gay legislation. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/dale.toy1 Dale Toy

            Well said Buffy. It seems reading comprehension is at a premium on here today, among people who generally have a little bit more on the ball than the average bear. Wake up folks, pay attention and grasp what the person is saying before you go bashing him or her. Most of us are on the same side here.

    • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

      Would you like a rainbow background on your license and plates?

      That sounds AWESOME!

      I don’t drive, but if I did have a car and that was an option I’d take it.

      TRiG.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    Fair. If you try and take a stance on how to deal with people that is not the way the company wants you to, then you’re not doing your job, and that’s grounds for firing. 

  • David23

    If I did not have to deal with blood I could have been a surgeon.

    • AxeGrrl

      Doc Martin, is that you?

      • David23

        If it did not happen so fast I would try the glass of water trick

  • snoozn

    I agree with this decision, but I do think the area of psychological counseling is a bit different from pharmacists, dentists, and bankers. Counseling is very personal. If I were seeing a counselor for career counseling and he/she was a religious fundamentalist who truly believed that women should not be in certain professions or do certain kinds of work…. Well, I think I’d rather have that person “recuse” him/herself and refer me to another counselor. Because even if they tried to follow the letter of the law, it would be very hard not to let their deeply held beliefs creep into any advice they may offer. 

    Absolutely a counselor should not be able to tell a gay client that he/she is “damaged” or needs to be “cured.” But might it not be better for the client to move along to a counselor who won’t have motivation, either conscious or subconscious, to give bad advice?

    • cipher

       State university.

    • Baby_Raptor

      There is no difference. If you can’t separate your personal beliefs from your job, and those beliefs cause you to discriminate, you’re wrong. 

      I don’t care what personal beliefs someone holds. But using those beliefs to deny medication, or anything else, is forcing those beliefs on someone else. And it should be punished as such…Definitely not rewarded and protected. 

      • snoozn

        I’m not arguing with the legal findings here. I’m just saying from the client side — If my pharmacist is a religious fundamentalist with wacky beliefs, I don’t care so long as she gives me my prescriptions in a professional manner. But if my counselor (including if I’m a state college student using the university counseling center) is a person with wacky views about women or gays — well, I would rather know that up front and be able to choose another counselor. 

        It’s too easy for people to rationalize in something as subjective as counseling. So I suppose in a way, I feel like people with strong religious beliefs that conflict with civil rights (and other current laws) are not really competent to be in counseling at all, at least at a state university. Which is a whole other can of worms.

        So I don’t know, is it acceptable for a counselor to say “I can try to assist you, but due to my personal beliefs, you may prefer to find another counselor,” and then let the client make a decision?

        • http://www.facebook.com/dale.toy1 Dale Toy

          “So I don’t know, is it acceptable for a counselor to say “I can try to assist you, but due to my personal beliefs, you may prefer to find another counselor,” and then let the client make a decision?”
          Frankly, that’s like a fireman saying, “I hate houses painted green and your’s is, so you should probably find another fireman because I’ll probably just let it burn to the ground.” What happens while you’re finding another fireman? Your house burns to the ground.

          The point here isn’t that a person with a certain belief set should have the integrity to do their job without allowing their personal beliefs to interfere, although that’s certainly true as well. The point is that, in this case, you had a person who not only refused to separate her personal feelings from her professional conduct, she left no doubt that her personal feelings were going to heavily influence her professional conduct in a negative manner. If her judgement is so poor in that matter, what kind of counselor do you imagine she’d make? 

          Note that I’m not discussing the legal outcome, I’m speaking in the sense of professional ethics. Defense lawyers routinely defend individuals they detest, but they’re sworn to present the best possible defense they’re able to and they’re expected to live up to those standards. Emotional counselors MUST be held to standards at LEAST as strict as their effect on a client has the potential to be even greater.

    • DannyEastVillage

       “Here you are, sweetie: I’ve got a whole list of cashier, file clerk, sales girl and even secretary listings.  Oops–just dropped ‘em on the floor here.  Well, just kneel down here in front of my chair and pick ‘em up, and while you’re down there…

  • http://www.facebook.com/usman.bello.125 Usman Bello

    Like it matters now. She’ll make far more money on the wingnut speaking circuit. 

    • cipher

       Oh, absolutely. The offers are coming in even as we speak.

      If she isn’t on The 700 Club within the month, I’ll eat a communion wafer.

      • Petzl

         And everyone will be better off.  She’ll be making a living doing something she’s good at, broadcasting her “like such as” stupidity, far and wide. We can buy popcorn and watch the trainwreck on TV.

        • Pittpainter

          I like your logic =)

  • Onamission5

    Anyone else from the US surprised and pleased that this decision came out of a Georgia federal district court? It kind of gives me hope that maybe other lawsuits brought against religious entitlement in GA will have a similar outcome.

    • LesterBallard

      It was one judge. I doubt if he represents the majority of Georgia’s citizens.

      • Onamission5

        I do know, thus the wording of kind of and maybe and similar. I’m not going to let it totally squash my happy though, at least not for the moment, on this one case.

        • LesterBallard

          I’m a cynical, pessimistic fucker. Sorry.

          • Onamission5

            LOL. I have my own cynical, pessimistic, and snarky fucker moments. Never apologize for being who you are.

            • LesterBallard

              Ha! Being who I am got my other Disqus name banned.

          • Gerald Thibault

            Hard not to be pessimistic when confronted with the existence of Georgia.

            • Alex

              Especially when you live there.

            • LesterBallard

              But what about our fellow citizens in Texas?

            • Dez Crawford

              Or if you live in Louisiana anywhere outside of New Orleans, which is its own country. 

            • http://www.facebook.com/reed.walton Reed Walton

               Unfortunately, I live in Georgia. Fortunately, Atlanta is a gay mecca! Also…would this happen to be the Gerald Thibault who went to school in Rochester? If so, glad to see we’re on the same page, literally and figuratively.

              • Gerald Thibault

                Yep, I’m definitely that guy. Nice to hear from you again.

                And while it’s great that Atlanta is a gay mecca, it’s also a little sad, knowing that every single vote cast by that mecca will be swallowed up and rendered useless by the surrounding wasteland.

                Same thing with Austin.

            • lol irony

              hi im from georgia and i build jets while you act like an idiot in real life and on the internet!

              • Gerald Thibault

                Being a programmer, jets aren’t really my thing, but in the event I had the training and mechanical skills to do so, we have a Boeing plant here, so I’d be able to do so, and without living in a state full of bigots.
                Also, when you suggest I am ‘acting’ like an idiot, are you suggesting that I’m actually not an idiot at all, and the entire thing is a ruse?

                Thanks!

          • Dez Crawford

            I saw that your tongue was firmly planted in your cheek.  I wish more people from Georgia thought like that judge.

      • DannyEastVillage

         a federal judge isn’t supposed to represent “the majority” of any group of citizens: a judge is supposed to represent the national interest as represented in the Constitution.  The locality of the Federal court is, in that sense, irrelevant.

        • LesterBallard

          I didn’t mean in a official sense.

          • Bill

            You sound really, REALLY smart.

            • LesterBallard

              Aren’t you just a cutie pie . . .

              • Bill

                Yes, I am.

                I’d make a guy like you weak in the knees, bud.

                • LesterBallard

                  A guy like me? What kind of guy is that?

    • Yoav

       That’s why theocrats like Ron Paul want to prevent federal courts from being able to rule on issues of the 1st amandment and equal protection (see Mr IloveFreedom’s we the people act and the official Texas returdlican platform).

      • Octotron

        Are you dumb or do you just like spewing misinformation?

        • Yoav

           I think I can safely assume that, like the majority of paulbots, you never bothered to look beyond the catchy slogans and into Ronnie’s legislative history.

          • Octotron

            I think you fail to understand libertarian philosophy, therefore you attack what you cannot grasp.

            • Yoav

              I said nothing about the libertarian philosophy, I was talking about what Ron Paul actually does, here in reality.

              • Solarcide

                Those who think Ron Paul supports individual freedom simply don’t understand his politics. He’s for State’s rights, which would make it easier for the States to oppress citizens without Federal interference. 

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tarron-Lee-Stewart/1654141750 Tarron Lee Stewart

                  Because your local government is more oppressive and understands you less than your government in Washington… Oh and your vote counts more in Washington too. *eyeroll*

    • Ahendon

      Hey just to let you know, just about the entire school was against her. The KKK came to support her and almost all of us were out there with a counter-protest.

    • http://twitter.com/thedrewboo Drew Murray

       The Georgia state Supreme Court struck down our gay marriage ban briefly. Courts in Georgia aren’t necessarily as conservative as our idiot congressmen.

      • mad

        and luckily even the dumb/racist citizens of georgia are smarter than you!

    • wat…

      you dont live here and just read liberal news soooo please show me this religious entitlement in ga that you speak of?

  • Marguerite

    I’m reading a truly horrible book, “The Homosexual Agenda,” and it specifically describes diversity training as part of the evol homosexual agenda, and implies it wrongly leads Christians to feel guilty and uncertain about their beliefs, when all they’re trying to do is heroically save gay people from a terrible fate. Diversity training and other attempts to make Christians stop bullying gays are so utterly unjust… or so this dreadful little book says. Yay for injustice, which looks pretty strikingly like justice to me.

    More on topic, it seems ridiculous to me that a therapist would be telling people that their gayness needed to be “cured.” The APA hasn’t classified homosexuality as a disorder since *checks Google* 1973, so what is she basing that on? Personal opinion? Should therapists be allowed to randomly suggest that anything they dislike needs “curing”? Like this: “I notice you like vanilla ice cream, and I prefer chocolate. Clearly there is something wrong with you. But don’t worry, we can cure that!”

    • Andrew B.

      “The Holy Bible is MY DSM!”

      • oye el pensador

         The holey bible is full of examples of DSM types.

        • Stev84

          God has so much mental disorders that it’s hard to know where to start

    • Onamission5

      Props to you for having the mettle to read and analyze such dreadful muck without throwing things.  My ability to do so surfaces rarely, and is almost always followed by a need for serious light hearted down time.

      • Marguerite

        My daughter recently came out as gay, and I want to familiarize myself with the kind of crap she’s likely to have to deal with. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to throw this nasty little book against the wall as I read it– but I’m reading it on my iPhone, so that would probably not be a good idea:-). Anyway, knowledge is power, I figure.

        • Onamission5

          Your daughter is lucky indeed to have a parent who is willing to make themselves so uncomfortable on their child’s behalf.  Yes, knowledge is power, and no, you probably shouldn’t smash your poor iphone no matter how mad the contents make you. It’s not its fault, after all. :)

        • Vrock

          Ha ha! According to the “other side” ignorance (of the masses) is power (to those in power). This is the problem with all us “liberal commie assholes” – we actually like to educate ourselves on issues and facts.

    • cipher

      You know what bothers me more than the fact of the book’s existence? The fact that 37 out of 79 reviewers gave it five stars.

      I say it all the time; this is a nation of abject morons.

      • DannyEastVillage

         I wouldn’t be too quick to worry about that statistic: I’d want to see the names of the publications printing those “five star” reviews.  I’m willing to bet today’s paycheck that they are ALL EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN PUBLICANS. 

        • cipher

           I should have said – it’s Amazon.

          • DannyEastVillage

            oh. well who the devil (on amazon) would post a review of such a book except ignorant haters?

            ________________________________
            From: Disqus
            To: dannyb510@yahoo.com
            Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7:27 PM
            Subject: [friendlyatheist1] Re: Judge Tells Christian Counseling Student That Her School Was Right to Punish Her for Wanting to Convert Gay Clients

            cipher wrote, in response to DannyEastVillage:
            I should have said – it’s Amazon.
            Link to comment

  • LesterBallard

    Poor persecuted Christians.

  • SJH

    I don’t know what her personal beliefs are so I will not judge her or make assumptions about how much rational thought she has put into her beliefs but is it possible that a person can think something is innately unhealthy with homosexuality? Is there someone out there that can educate me as to why it is considered healthy? Why did we go from calling it a mental disorder to claiming that it is perfectly normal and healthy? Please explain.

    • Onamission5

      SJH, it has been explained to you repeatedly in many prior comment threads. Coming to yet another post which mentions LGBT issues and claiming you still don’t understand why being gay is okay because no one has held your hand and walked you though it quite to your satisfaction is disingenuous at best.

      • SJH

         It has not been explained. The only explanation has been that most psychiatrists/counselors believe that it is normal. That is not good enough. There seem to be many that disagree including Jennifer Keeton.

        I don’t expect anyone to hold my hand but it would be nice if those that claim that it is healthy can explain why.

        • Onamission5
          • http://www.facebook.com/dale.toy1 Dale Toy

            To use a phrase that originated on gaming forums, Onamission5 just won the Internet. Well done. 

            And no, in case anyone is wondering, there’s no sarcasm intended in this comment.

        • Andy McCarthy

          Why are heterosexual relationships healthy?

    • Marguerite

      “…is it possible that a person can think something is innately unhealthy with homosexuality?”
      Based on what? And even if s/he does, is there a reason s/he has to pressure others to believe as s/he does? I can think there’s something innately unhealthy about watching reality TV, but that doesn’t give me the right to tell other people not to do it, or to harass them for their choice to watch it. Is there proof– real, unbiased, scientific proof– that watching reality TV is unhealthy? Just because I think it’s wrong doesn’t mean I have the right to pressure others to believe as I do.

      “Is there someone out there that can educate me as to why it is considered healthy? Why did we go from calling it a mental disorder to claiming that it is perfectly normal and healthy?”

      As I said below, in 1973. It was declassified as a mental disorder in that year. If you think it’s unhealthy, while pretty much every psychiatrist in America disagrees with you, then what are you basing your opinion on? Can you give solid reasons– and again, I mean real, genuine, scientifically based reasons– why?  “Just because I think it’s gross” or “because the Bible says so” or even “just because this society has never accepted it” aren’t good reasons.

      In short, people who believe homosexuality is healthy and normal really don’t need to explain why. The onus is on those who believe otherwise.

      • Stev84

        That change actually started in the mid 50s with Evelyn Hooker. She noticed that many of the previous studies on homosexuality were based on prison inmates and patients in mental hospitals. Which of course skews the results towards destructive behavior and mental instability.

        She recruited gay men for a study and gave them several standardized psychological tests. She did the same with a straight control group. Then she gave the results to three evaluators and asked them to determine who is straight and gay. No one could do it. They found that based on the tests, there were no differences between the two groups.

        That work gained a wider audience in the 60s and eventually influenced the psychological community.

        • Marguerite

          Thank you. That’s very interesting and informative. If you listen to the crazed religious right, they would have you believe that the change in 1973 came out of nowhere and was due solely to pressure from gay activists.

        • SJH

           I am familiar with that research. I was not convinced when I first read about it and I have become even less convinced the more I think about it. It seems to me to make some oversimplified assumptions. I am no psychiatrist so there is a good chance that I am misunderstanding something but I am using what I know, have time to research and a little reason.

          Her research did not seem to address the possibility that there are negative ramifications to homosexual behavior nor the potential consequences to the individuals local community. Nor did it take into account the fact that many doctors/specialists at the time would treat homosexuality and “cure” it. What about those cases? Did they not exist or did she ignore them?

          It did not seem to address the fact that homosexual behavior runs contrary to the functionality of our bodies. Doesn’t this, in itself, define it as a “disorder” meaning that the behavior is disordered from the machine’s function and/or use? How does disordered behavior lead lead to progress for a species?

          Also, there is controversy on just how the APA finally made its ruling considering that there was only a slight majority of a small population of psychiatrists in favor of changing its classification. There is a lot of speculation and evidence that the political climate was not conducive to have a non-biased outcome.

          When you add the fact that Dr. Hooker was a activist for the homosexual cause, it just adds to my skepticism. Although her experiment seemed to be well designed to avoid bias perhaps she was to quick to draw conclusions once she felt her data lead to her desired conclusion.

          • Andy McCarthy

            The only way that I’ve heard early 1900s doctors curing same-sex attraction is through chemical castration—basically a pill that kills your libido.  If the man stops taking the pill, the sexual desires return.
            People have sex in lots of different ways.  Gay men primarily have oral sex and anal sex.  Gay women mostly oral sex and penetrative vaginal sex with sex toys like dildos and vibrators.  It is true that the human body was only made for coitus, but it would be pretty boring if we didn’t try new things in the bedroom.You can view sexual adventure as a disorder.  Or you can view the friction of multiple body parts as physically and emotionally satisfying.  You can think of the human body as a machine first and foremost.  Or you can appreciate the sensual aspects of the human form.  You can think of procreation as the most important measure of the progress of a species.  Or you can put a greater emphasis on the scientific and artistic contributions of each generation to the species.Our bodies weren’t made to swim.  We don’t have gills or fins.  But we swim anyways and make an art form of it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dale.toy1 Dale Toy

            So, essentially what the tone of your posts is saying, SJH, is, “I think being gay is icky, so I’m going to hold any excuse I can find that claims it’s wrong up as truth and write off valid, accepted research as shoddy because it doesn’t say what I want it to. I’m also going to totally ignore the fact that homosexuality has been observed in roughly 1500 non-human species because that may point up the irrelevancy of my argument and force me to have to confront my doubts regarding my own sexuality.” 

            I think you’re probably trying to be and believe you’re being both vague and reasonable, but you’re actually just being transparent and obtuse. Seriously, dude. Hang it up.

    • Salty

      feel free to Google that yourself…. I recommend the American Psychological Association website to start.   Look at the scientific evidence.   

    • Yoav

       She can think whatever she wants as long as she can do her job. We know that, unlike being gay, eating greasy food is really unhealthy, however if I was working at McDonald’s and whenever someone walked to the counter (or more likely drove to the drive through window,  to avoid the need to walk 3 feet to get food) and ordered a triple cheeseburger, extra large fries and a gallon of florescent colored soda, i would have told them that they’re morons and they should order a small salad instead, it will be completely justified for the manager to tell me to either do my job or get the fu*k out.

    • David23

       Because most of us grew up.

    • Baby_Raptor

      It doesn’t matter if she thinks there’s something “innately unhealthy” about it. What matters is that she’s forcing her beliefs on other people, and harming them in the process. 

      Again, you’re welcome to believe whatever you want. If you want to deny facts, that’s your choice. But you DON’T have the right to force other people to. 

    • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

      “is it possible that a person can think something is innately unhealthy with homosexuality?”

      Not if they’re based in reality.  If, of course, you’re working from a stance of bigotry you can fabricate any manner of “research” to support your opinion or distort existing research to do the same.

    • Andy McCarthy

      Homosexuality is benign in and of itself.  However, in the United States, there’s a higher chance of gay men contracting HIV for those who don’t use condoms and have multiple sex partners.  Gay women have below-average transmission rates of HIV.  In other parts of the world people are are equally likely, or more likely, to transmit HIV if they are heterosexual.  There’s a higher chance of being beaten or murdered.  There’s a higher rate of suicide.
      A man having sex with a man, or a woman having sex with a woman—that only leads to a healthy sex life and a healthy emotional state.

  • Stev84

    It’s interesting that Christian schools and colleges place all kinds of arbitrary conditions on students  attending and graduating (or for teachers to have a job), many of which are extremely intrusive. But when a secular university does the same on a far smaller scale, they suddenly think they shouldn’t be allowed to.

  • Salty

    Yay!!!!!!!!!  Judge gets it exactly right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700851737 Sam Kay

    A therapist refusing to treat a client because the client is gay is stupid, but acceptable. A therapist needs to be aware of their own biases, and if he or she can’t treat a gay client just like they would treat any other client, he or she needs to refer that client to another therapist. Conversion therapy or trying to convert a client to another religion, however, is pretty clearly unethical. If this student was a licensed therapist, I imagine they would face some serious repercussions, if not loss of their license, from the APA.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      Sorry, but if this therapist were racist instead, and could not help a student of a different race than herself, it would still not be acceptable that she couldn’t do her job and instead referred the student to a different counselor. No matter the scenario, if you have prejudices that prevent you from doing your job, that’s YOUR fault, YOUR problem, and the student shouldn’t have to suffer, even if that “suffering” is merely being shoved along to somebody else. Do your job, or find another line of work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700851737 Sam Kay

    Sorry, I guess it’s the ACA in this case, not the APA.

  • Corey

    I try to remind people all the time that the conservative Christians in the USA really believe they should have special rights because of their religion. It is anti-American, selfish, possibly the thought a sociopath would have. There is no need to read the bible to make u an atheist, all one has to do is see how these Puritans, aka modern-day Religious Right aka Conservative Christians, treat others and it will surely make people look to a different ideology/dogma to study.

  • KhartoumHero

    Get rid of state-defined “professions.” End the guild system. Problem solved.

  • Xrizzotto

     Awesome Judge.  In Georgia nonetheless. All is not lost.

  • Alex

    Georgia, of all places? Gives me a little bit of hope for this state.

  • Darrelray

    Hemant, thanks for posting this. Related to this is a bigger problem as well.  That is, so-called Christian counselors are graduating by the thousands from religious schools that have no intention of following the ethical guidelines of the ACA. These people are getting licenses and practicing in many states. That is why The Secular Therapist Project is so important. We want secular people to know that their counselor has no religious hidden agenda. When people are in pain, they are more susceptible to influence. A surreptitiously religious counselor, can easily steer someone back into religion or spirituality. That is actually the goal of Christian counselor training programs – to keep people infected. Please let people know about seculartherapy.org. Also, support schools and politicians that uphold ethical behavior in counselors as well as pharmacists, physicians, etc. The religious right is trying to change the entire ethical game to reflect their distorted sexual agenda.

  • Bob

    fap

  • AugustaStGal

    I know Jennifer personally. This is a very, very poorly written article. A superintendent found out that Jenn did not support gay marriage. That superintendent told Jenn that the only way she would be allowed to graduate is by taking sensitivity courses and writing an admission that her Christian viewpoint is wrong, and that she had changed her stance. Jenn said she would not compromise her beliefs and chose to sue the school in order to obtain her degree. At no point did she mention a “cure”. At no point did her personal belief interfere with her work at the school. At no point did she judge someone. She has no idea what conversion therapy details. Now she’s being ridiculed on Reddit. Great journalism work Hemant Mehta.

    • masph

       Then why does the Augusta Chronicle tell a different story:

      http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2010-07-24/asu-student-says-gays-have-identity-confusion

      That is not the same as being for or against gay marriage.  People should remember that the internet is an archive and that things can be dug up.

    • Stev84

      Just another liar for Jesus. This has nothing whatsoever to do with gay marriage and she was never asked to change her beliefs altogether.

      The court ruling quotes extensively from the conversations she had with her professors. It’s very clear what happened.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      Rubbish. Court documents don’t lie. I can only assume that Jennifer lied to you… which would be in character with the sort of person she seems to be.

    • Question Everything

      Which Christian viewpoint was she told that she must admit was wrong, which wasn’t about judging someone else’s lifestyle?

    • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

       So you’re claiming that the court documents are poorly written and incorrect?  Face it.  Your friend is an anti-gay bigot who supports “conversion therapy” and she made this abundantly clear to everybody in the school that she would push her anti-gay views on any potential clients she had.  The administration didn’t go seeking out this information to “persecute” her like this was some sort of witch hunt, as you seem to be implying. 

    • Andy McCarthy

      You say the superintendent found out that Jenn did not support gay marriage, but you don’t say how he found out.  Was she broadcasting it?
      Even though she’s being criticized on Reddit, it’s hard to sympathize with her because she is unfairly critical of gay people.

  • guy with a laugh

    I smell a porno in the makes… Reality Kings?  I know you’re hiding in there…  “I’m sorry Miss Keeton but I like boys…”  *Tears top+bra open*  “Well Billy, let me help you with that problem.”  Insert corny 80′s wawa guitar music.

    • Stev84

       Only if they get married first

  • RaiseMoreHell

    She looks like Ann Coulter to me. Sure she’s not really a man?

    • Question Everything

      Please, let’s stop with the comments about looks (sure she’s not a man) / modifying names to make people or groups look worse (Demonrats, Rethuglicans, etc).  We can make arguments against their policies without dropping to name calling.

      • RaiseMoreHell

        And you are a clueless twit, exactly as Chris Hedges described in “Death of the Liberal Class.” You may want to be independent, but there are two clear sides and you better pick one. This is for all the marbles and what’s coming isn’t going to be at all nice, a lot worse than name calling. Reason, logic and “answers” won’t be any part of it. Wringing your hands won’t stop it, although if people like you had taken a stand thirty years ago we might not be in this hole.

        • Question Everything

          Perhaps you should spend more time attacking people against your side with logic rather than those likely with you with name calling.  I may be independent, but I lean left on nearly every issue.  I simply prefer to use logic to argue any point over name calling, and I definitely think we can easily use logic to argue this case.

          • RaiseMoreHell

            Hah! As if you have something of value to offer as an “independent” voter who “leans left.” You are not even being offered any left choices. The time for your approach would have been to stop Reagan, but your kind left the field back then or believed the “reason” of corporate tools. Your “independence” won’t save you from the Right, their criteria will be “Are they one of us?” And you won’t meet it. 

            • Question Everything

              Well, I guess I should mention, 30 years ago I was 2 years old, and I didn’t have many political opinions then.  These days, I am a voter with money that I put to causes I believe in, though I may not be the honored age of whatever you are.  I wasn’t of voting age for Reagan, either.  Go me for failing to stop something I couldn’t take part in.

              And I agree, the Right won’t have me.  Good thing, too, I disagree with nearly all of their platform!  They probably won’t have you, either, so I guess we’re in the same boat there.

              • RaiseMoreHell

                Damn right the right won’t have me. I know what side I’m on and have been on it my whole life. Not only am I ready for the right, I have been organizing for that day for years now, so I won’t be facing them alone.

                Doesn’t matter that you weren’t around for Reagan. Your choice now is to follow a worldview that has been proven not to be accurate, (ironically a worldview that prides itself on being evidence-based): that we make our political, economic,  and societal choices based on reason and logic. Lakoff and Westin did not invent the idea of the power of emotions, and they have underplayed the science that exists of how to generate those emotions. Go check out the Creel Commission of WWI and books like “Public Opinion” by Lippmann, Hedges’ book I mentioned above, or Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent.” .  Where do you think Goebbels learned everything he knew about propaganda? The British campaign to get the U.S, into the war and Wilson’s campaign to get the U.S. public behind the war.

                The fight that’s coming will not be about reason and logic. It will be about power and numbers, which is why the oligarchs are manufacturing idiots like the one in the story. And manufactured she was. (BTW- The Georgia courts throwback ruling on an inconsequential topic matters little when the Supreme Court is operating on behalf of the 0.01% on matters of great import). And a fight it will be. I wish it could be otherwise, but I see no way we can stop it through electoral means at this point. We’ve had as clear a set of wake up calls as could be imagined and the response has been tepid. Maybe if people stopped trying to push the idea that if we all just got along, everything would be OK. We know what the response of people like the bimbo in this article will be, we saw it in Italy and Germany in the 1930s. Who do we expect will rescue us if we don’t fight back and stop it from happening here?

                • Question Everything

                  Proof, please, that the independent viewpoint has been proven to be not accurate?  Is it just what you feel?

                  If you don’t have reason and logic behind your fight, what do you have?  Emotion?  Emotion just says you’re expressive about your viewpoint, not that you can prove it.

                  Nowhere did I say we shouldn’t fight against unjust things.  I just said we should be civil about it, using logic and not name-calling.  What is your argument against that?  What does name calling get you that logical arguments does not?  Is name calling somehow more powerful than logic, justifying your position against not-name calling?

  • Sue Blue

    Finally, some good news from the crazy christian front.  I’m a nurse, and I can’t imagine any nurse or doctor refusing to treat a patient whose lifestyle we may not like.  I can’t say to a gang member, “I’m sick and tired of you idiots shooting each other.  Go patch yourself up – I’m done with you.”  No nurse would ever get away with saying to a homosexual patient, “EEEWWW! You’re gay?!  You probably have AIDS!  I’m not touching you!”  Our code of ethics says that we treat everybody with dignity and respect for their person.  Do otherwise, and you’re not a nurse. I don’t know why that is so hard for people like Keeton to understand.  Healthcare professionals absolutely cannot put personal feelings and beliefs ahead of a patient’s welfare.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.

    • Sue Blue

      In addition, even though I’m an atheist who believes that religious beliefs are often actively harmful to a person’s health, it is not my place to use my professional authority or position to try to deconvert religious patients.  The people I see in the hospital are often in dire physical and emotional straits, and the last thing they need is someone telling them that their beliefs are stupid, they have it all wrong,  and they need to quit leaning on the everlasting arms of God and start trusting scientific medicine.  If having their pastor pray over them comforts them, it’s helping them emotionally.   Just as it would be inappropriate professionally for a religious nurse to proselytize to patients, it’s inappropriate for me to push my atheism in my practice.  At most, I can explain to patients the way their bodies work, the scientific and evidentiary basis of their treatment, and teach them how they can use evidence-based practices to improve their health.   I don’t have to pray with patients, but I can call their pastor or priest or just hold their hand and listen to them pray.  Sometimes I get asked about my beliefs.  I try to tactfully suggest that my beliefs are not the issue – it’s what the patient believes that is most important to their health.  
      These concepts were drilled into us as nursing students, and any student who could not or would not comply would be expelled from the program.  This was clearly explained upon entry to nursing school as an integral expectation of the standard of care, so every student had fair warning of what was expected of them.

  • DannyEastVillage

    I’m an RN working in NYC.  I’ve had experiences of having to give care to violent felons who were cuffed to their beds.  What would I be as a professional if I refused to give care to someone whose life-history I didn’t “agree” with? I’d be unfit to call myself a professional and should have my license yanked. 

    • DannyEastVillage

       btw–I’m an Anglican Christian.

  • DannyEastVillage

    I’ve said this over and over in various places on the internet and I’m going to repeat it here: christians are as mean as anyone else on this planet.  Some may argue that radical militant Muslims are worse, but to them I would say Islamic terrorists are not one whit worse than the so-called christians we hear about in public life and elsewhere in this country.  The only difference is that the ethos of the modern secular state does not countenance the kinds of behaviors allowed to radicals in Yemen, Afghanistan and even in Saudi Arabia.  And every one of us including the so-called christians can be very thankful that such is the case.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

      “when someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its rules and ethical requirements.”

    So simple, yet impossible to understand for certain people. 

  • http://www.colinmcdermott.co.uk/ Colin

    Damn right! I love it when the law kicks ass.

  • http://twitter.com/skii_bum1985 Amber

    America: Where people think homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice that can be cured”….and yet they believe that obesity “is genetic and you can’t fix what’s genetic”…smh…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mishabear Gregor Michels

    Anyone else notice her name?  Jennifer Keeton?Wasn’t that Alex’s sister’s name on Family Ties?  :)

  • CuteGun

    I don’t get it, why would a tranny want to convert gays? That’s a dude, right?

    • Question Everything

      Again – please stick to fighting with logic and facts.  We have plenty in this case, name calling isn’t necessary.

    • Andy McCarthy

      She is Ann Colter-ish but that’s beside the point.

    • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

       Really?  Do we need the anti-trans slurs?

  • Greysee2008

    But how many other counselors do this to our children and are not caught? This is just ome out of many instances where students maybe turned away because of the professionals belief system. Although there are rules and regulations, we might have to look more closely to help our children identify that this behaviour is wrong and unwarranted.

  • Artbybabz

    Good god they are the way god birthed them.you need a new vision if that’s not possible go work as a clerk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ZANTUNING Zachary Gfh Newhouse

    Hell yes!

  • Sindigo

    “…not intended to be a crucible for counselors to test metaphysical or moral propositions.” – One of the best sentences I’ve ever read.

  • Marcus Morgan

    Counselling has a Code, but a lot of so-called professions do not. Scientists & philosophers in general do not have a sworn Code of responsibility to the public they serve, doctors and lawyers do. The sooner scientists and philosophers began behving like they did, we might have better science and philosophy. Of course, that does not prevent them from pretending they are like doctors and lawyers with real duties (fiduciary duties), and being pillars of (unsworn) authority.

  • mxh

    Awesome! And you’re right, the same rule should apply to pharmacists, doctors and any other healthcare professional forcing their religious beliefs onto people when they’re at their most vulnerable.

  • Rpatton

    Just a couple coments: 1) I am not sure where he got ”conversion therapy” from. Jen sees homosexuality as a ‘lifestyle,’ something that can be changed, but I dont remember reading anywhere…or hearing in any video clip anything about conversion therapy. Sharing ones beliefs is much different. 2) Yes, she could have gone to a private school whose tuition is three times as much, and where she would have to find a full time job because she would have to find an apartment and such, when she has many friends, and I believe family in Augusta and ASU is much cheaper, she wasnt protesting the schools views/opinions of this community, she was just adding in her own opinion…it was the school that haulted her saying she couldnt hold those opinions. If she is wanting to do christian counseling, she is probably going to want to work at a christian private school, or start her own practice…. plus private christain counseling program of public counseling program…she can be hired at public schools in Georgia either way. 3) This blog also leaves out what the remediation plan included…they were wanting her to attend (on top of regular classes) GLBTQ events in town, attend three workshops in a semester and be able to get certificates for all fo them, write up 2 page reports every month and check in every month (with the goal being  for her to change her view form thinking that it is not a lifestyle, but genetic and acceptable…which in her faith, its not…so yes, they were wanting her to change her views/beliefs) They also wanter her to read 10(which doesnt sound like a lot, but remember, she is in a masters program on top of all this, plus probably has a part time job, and other obligations) article from journals and report on them. This is all to be done in a semester, and if she failed to do any part of it, or do it incorrectly according to those who were reviewing it, she was to be dimissed from the program. 

    Personally, I do believe that jen, wanting to be a councelor, needs to understand more the GLBTQ community, but I also believe that the college was excessive and in the wrong for this rediculously intense remediation plan. I can see asking her to attend A…like one….workshop and being able to write something on it, but to threaten to kick her out because she is unable to conform to what they are asking her to believe as a public school…is rediculous! 

  • Christy

    I went to the same school as that chick as was happy the day she was kicked out because Georgia is given such a bad rep by people like her who say believe what I believe or don’t exist at all. She could have gotten some client (High School student) killed by suicide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patricia-Williams-King/100000285253364 Patricia Williams-King

    This is good news to me! Preventing others from bullying students is not restricting their rights or their religious freedoms in any way. IF YOU DON”T WANT TO DO THE JOB, DON”T APPLY FOR IT!

  • Stacym_63

    Bravo!
     

  • Lyubasha1003

    Author might consider to invest into the the ethical language ,it’s public site ,you know,not your grandma kitchen.Also,being a teacher  is not just passing praxis.

  • Kaydenpat

    I love that Hemant brought up pharmacists because that’s exactly what I thought of when I read the Judge’s decision.  Wonder if she’ll appeal.  Would love the Supreme Court to address this issue once and for all.

  • Dumb

    How are people on this earth still THIS STUPID?

  • Adam Schnaare

    “do what’s best for their patients” – subjective.
    “Keeton was using her faith to harm certain ones” – subjective.
    I think there is a place for faith-based counseling. I agree it’s probably not from a government institution, though. It’s obvious that the author that is condemning personal bias is indeed bias. We all are.
    Human youth need direction. Humans need direction. America seems to think the greatest ill is  direction from a deep belief. Instead we cater to the lowest common denominator. My subjective opinion is that it’s gotten us highly advanced in technology and scholarly research – and given us derelict ethics devoid of anything that is contrarian to our raw human desires.

    We need to truly ask what it means to “do what’s best”.

  • Farid7

    “She supported “conversion therapy,” something that doesn’t work and harms the patients. ”

    This is a pretty bold statement that you make. Do you, in fact, have PROOF that someone is harmed by trying to alter their behavior or lifestyle as it pertains to homosexuality?  I don’t think you do and, therefore, your opinion here means nothing.

    • onamission5
      • Farid7

        Here’s one back at you… Research findings published in The Journal of Men’s Studies, 18, 84-102
        http://www.narth.com/docs/newsumm.html

        The bottom line: I personally know several former homosexuals who are now happily heterosexual, some of them are married with kids.  I also know gays who have confessed that they were never homosexual by orientation but became gays through “sexual experimentation”.

        Your argument simply will not stand.  If there is even one case in which someone changed their orientation, then your argument is mute… Period.

      • Farid7

         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Spitzer_%28psychiatrist%29

        What the gay community is doing is relentlessly going for “the jugular” at anyone who would oppose their agenda.  Just read the above article and see how they effectively shut up and even drew a retraction from one the century’s greatest psychologists.
        The man stated that he was “battle fatigued”.  After years of hate mail and constant badgering, he issued a watered-down apology.  His research still stands for all to see; It is possible for someone to be reoriented from gay to straight and vice versa.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scott.gustafson.96 Scott Gustafson

      Why on earth would you make a post like this without doing the homework yourself? I’m a Clinical Psychologist – I will tell you that he is absolutely right: conversion therapy is harmful to individuals, especially boys, and there are a number of documented suicides years afterward that are directly causally related to the “treatment”. As far as citations are concerned, you have other posters who have cut and pasted for your convenience. But before spouting off, you should really do you own homework rather than insulting others and making them rush in with documentation that is easily accessible to you. You should be embarrassed by your own behavior. This is an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect at work.

  • Abbazabba4209

    Shes pretty hott though you have to admit


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X