A lawsuit filed by a woman booted out of a master’s degree program at Eastern Michigan University because she refused to support homosexuality as she sought to earn counseling credentials has been settled for $75,000.
The end of the case marks a nearly four-year battle between (Julea) Ward and the university. Ward was a student in the university’s graduate school counseling program, where she was training to become a counselor in the K-12 school system.
“Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The Sixth Circuit rightly understood this and ruled appropriately, so the university has done the right thing in settling this case,” (Ward’s lawyer said).
The lawsuit also aimed at revamping university policies, but the settlement stops short of that:
The lawsuit sought to stop the university from enforcing its policies that prohibit discrimination and require students in its counseling program to counsel students in conformance with the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association.
(But) the resolution of the lawsuit will leave the university’s policies, programs and curricular requirements intact.
“The faculty retains its right to establish, in its learned judgment, the curriculum and program requirements for the counseling program at Eastern Michigan University,” (a campus official) said.
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