A former Eastern Michigan University student has the right to present her religious discrimination suit to a federal jury, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
Julea Ward was expelled from the university's graduate counseling program in 2009 after she asked her superiors to refer a gay client to another counselor. She said her Christian faith prevented her from affirming the homosexual lifestyle, but that she would be willing to counsel gays and lesbians on other issues.
In 2010, CT reported that a district court judge had ruled in Eastern Michigan's favor, arguing the university has "a rational basis for requiring its students to counsel clients without imposing their personal values." Friday's decision from the Sixth Circuit sends the case back to that court and gives Ward the chance to present her case before a jury.
"Although the university submits it dismissed Ward from the program because her request for a referral violated the ACA (American Counseling Association) code ...1