Victory In Georgia: Appeals Court Can Require Religious Student To Follow Ethics Rules
Jennifer Keeton was pursuing an advanced degree in counseling at Augusta State University until it became clear that she intended to impose her religious beliefs on clients in violation of the professional standards of her academic program.
According to the Associated Press, Keeton said homosexuality is immoral, unnatural and a “lifestyle choice” that can be fixed through “conversion therapy.” She said she would have difficulty working with gay clients.
School officials said professional ethics required her to treat all patients fairly and in accord with accepted counseling standards. The school put her on a remediation plan.
When she refused to follow the plan and lost her first court case in which she argued that she was a victim of religious discrimination and that her free speech rights were being violated, she was expelled from Augusta State.
Had the university allowed Keeton to violate the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics, the school could have lost its accreditation.