Christian student wins appeal in discrimination case against university

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  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Jan. 30, 2012 6:03 p.m.

    The statement from the university that set off warning flags in my mind was when she was told she needed to change her beliefs.

    The university may be able to advise a student to reconsider how they approach or handle a problem, but I seriously question their right to tell someone they need to change what they believe in or what personal values they have.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Jan. 30, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    This is an example of why I contribute regularly to the Alliance Defense Fund and will continue to do so.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Jan. 30, 2012 10:13 a.m.

    The way I read this article, She did her part to recuse herself from the situation and the 'thought police' couldn't let it go. I'm glad she won the appeal. I think a lot of people go into counselling because of the love they learn through their religious beliefs, and for a school to insist that beliefs MUST be one way leaves me cold.

    Counsellors can specialize in the sort of treatment they offer, I don't see why a discerning school official couldn't see this situation in much the same way.

  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    Jan. 30, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    What if she were an airline pilot flying a man to his another man? An apartment owner renting an apartment to two men who intended to cohabitate, a mattress sales person selling a bed to two men who wanted to have sex on it...Or what if a couple is working on issues about practicing plural marriage in heaven, can counselor opt out? Or what if a doctor has to take a bullet out of a child molester? Isn't professionalism about putting your personal stuff aside and doing your job? It is appropriate for the school to teach professionalism.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 30, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    Sounds like someone in the administration at that university took something personal and has an ax to grind.

    In the counseling field, people get referred to other counselors all the time. It happens every day. It happens before the first visit, after the first visit, and it can happen after years of visits. Besides, who would want to be counseled by a non-expert anyway (meaning, in this case, if you want counseling about homosexual behavior, you should ask an expert in homosexual behavior or at least a student that plans on becoming an expert on that topic). It is clear the student was not and would never be an expert on that topic because she didn't want to be.

    This is still America. We have a choice. There isn't a dictator regime telling people, you will be a farmer, you will be a gymnast, you will be a homosexual behavior counselor, and you will be a tax collector.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 29, 2012 10:45 p.m.

    Ah ranchhand,
    obvious to whom? just because YOU don't see it....

    you don't even have the intellectual integrity to admit you intentionally take potshots and evidence intolerance when you're called out for it.

    And please explain how this women used her deep felt religious beliefs to trample on the rights of another. If anything, she did him a favor by referring him to someone more sympathetic. Now if she had tried to turn him straight, you could make that accusation, but in this case you cannot. All you can do is showcase your intolerance.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 29, 2012 7:35 p.m.


    What is intolerant about stating the obvious? Religion IS superstition. It doesn't matter if its the Shaman, Prophet, Pope, Bishop, or any other type of "holy man" - they're all basing their belief on the unknown/unknowable; hence, superstition.

    Like I said, it doesn't bother me that someone believes in the supernatural, that's their business. I do care when they start using their superstitious beliefs to infringe on the rights of others, that's all.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 29, 2012 4:57 p.m.



    Once again your tolerance shines through, bright and clear

  • Aspen1713 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 29, 2012 11:54 a.m.

    I agree with Just Another Guy -- how was giving a man advice about his problems "affirming" homosexuality? Would she be affirming homosexuality if she gave him directions to a gas station? She's a therapist, and perhaps there are details we're missing, but it seems like she ought to be able to listen to him and help him figure out a way to have more positive relationships regardless of his orientation.

    I mean, what if she were counseling a straight person, but her personal opinion was that the straight person should divorce the spouse? It's entirely possible to keep your opinions to yourself and give people the help they ask for. When I worked for a doctor, we had a patient who would constantly come in for treatment. She smoked, had a horrible diet, and engaged in other unhealthy behavior that I won't get into. The doctor still treated her diabetes, though I'm sure he wanted to tell her to not come back until she got her life in order and stopped wasting his time. Why? Because doctors help people even if they won't help themselves. I don't think this woman is going to make a great therapist if she can't make that distinction.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 29, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Good for her standing up for her beliefs, yet cared enough to remove herself from the situation instead of faking it. Freedom is a two way street while the person seeking counseling is free to choose from countless counselors, the counselor is free to choose whom he/she counsels. For the school to use one size fit all logic is extremely wrong.

  • Just Another Guy Washington, Utah
    Jan. 29, 2012 12:30 a.m.

    OK, so I don't particularly condone homosexuality. I understand that it was really in the best interest of the client for her to pass his case on. But, she still could have counseled him. She could have counseled him about how relationships work. She still could have listened to him. She could have counseled him with compassion and understanding as the Lord would do. A christian loves his neighbor and helps his neighbor. She did not have to condone his behavior as a homosexual but she still could have counseled him. She could have even gone on to help him find the root of his behavioral problems so that he could overcome his errors. A counselor is not a judge. She has missed the fundamental principal of counseling.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 11:31 p.m.

    I am a therapist and while I am not Christian or share this women's views of homosexuality in anyway it does sound like she acted appropriately for the situation. I agree with Chris Digan she should carefully consider where she chooses to work following her schooling and should continue to refer those that she comes into contact with that come to her that want to address similar type concerns.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 28, 2012 10:56 p.m.

    This is a very encoraging development. I go to Eastern Michigan University and the claims of the faculty that this was needed to avoid a postion that could be seen as discriminatory are not based in fact. We are constantly bombarded with pro-LGBT propaganda all over campus. Anyone who could have interpreted giving this student freedom as anything other than granting freedom is clearly out of touch with reality.

  • hoost Walnut Creek, CA
    Jan. 28, 2012 10:25 p.m.

    Hilarious to hear that Jimmer actually got chewed out for calling for the ball in practice. He's in rookie point guard hell. Those first 12 games or so he looked like someone had told him he was going to get beat up after the game if he made any shots. When Thornton heals up and Jimmer (1 of two team players on the whole team) heads back to the bench they'll have to start building chemistry all over again. Thornton is the most stone-faced, 1 on 5 I'm-gonna-get-mine player on the team. Unfortunately he knows how to put the ball in the hoop pretty well. Smart's got a lot of work cut out for him.

  • Chris Degn Seoul, Korea
    Jan. 28, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    As a licensed therapist, I am glad she won her appeal. Every therapist should have the right to "refer" any counselee they cannot, for whatever personal reason, provide counseling for. She will need to give serious thought, however, to what type of counseling venue she'll operate within once she graduates and gets licensed. She may want to work for a clinic/organization that does not send clients she'd need to refer on. Given her religious background, I'd recommend pastoral counseling to her a specialization, so she can avoid further turmoil in this regard.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    @sara and whitney

    Do you think you could actaully even attempt to try to hide your clear bias in this story? you state several things as fact are either blatantly wrong or purely your opinion. Can you at least try to be me discrete with your bias next time?

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 6:17 p.m.

    i think it is great she isn't compromising her beliefs and values. i would want a counselor who is honest of what they think and wouldn't lie by saying i think it is great you are homosexual just because their liberal school said to think that at the office. when they really do not think that.if someone wants a pro gay stance in a counselor i am sure they can find one that agrees with their lifestyle.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 6:17 p.m.


    I agree. It does seem that she tried to get someone else who COULD counsel this man to take the case. If I were in the position needing counseling I would prefer someone who wasn't going to use superstition to give me the counsel.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    "Shortly before the client arrived, Ward contacted her supervisor and asked to transfer him because of a values conflict an acceptable option within the profession and her supervisor agreed."

    Seems reasonable. Now if she were the ONLY one there then it'd be more of a problem.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Yet a few days later, Ward was called in for a review and told that unless she could "see the error of her ways" and change her "belief system," she would have to leave the program

    And how is this not establishment of a state religion?

    so disagreeing with something is hate? really???

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 28, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    I agree that this counselor should have the option of handing this patient off to someone else.

    Now, if homosexual issues were a large percentage of the caseloads, that would be a different story.

    People on both sides of this issue look to make a stand and in doing so, go to unreasonable lengths.

    This should have been a non issue

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    This article gives a lot more information than previous articles on this case have given.

    It is totally within her job description to request the patient be seen by a different counselor - there are many reasons such a request may be made and not being able to appropriately help or counsel a client is one of them.

    Based on the information in this article, I would disagree with the school - they did act inappropriately and she should not have been kicked out of the program.

  • mattmo Gallatin, MO
    Jan. 28, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    Words and music from Afterglow:

    I look around and see what I've been given
    And I think about the ones before
    who gave their lives and died for the cause.

    I think about this blessed Restoration,
    and the truth that's come from heaven
    with the pow'r to change the lives of this world.

    Here we are in a time of revelation,
    with the answers we can give the world
    to the questions of just why they are here.

    Who are we to dismiss this charge to others?
    It's a sacred obligation
    and a priv'lege to be helping the Lord

    Find the power that you have in your heart.
    There's a stone rolling forward; it's the nation of God.
    For the battle is raging, and the armor is strong.
    The enemy is losing. Which side are you on?

    Take a stand with the author of salvation
    And choose your destination
    by rememb'ring where it is you belong.

    Move ahead with a strong determination.
    Giving heed to the direction,
    and obeying the commands of the Lord.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 28, 2012 7:59 a.m.

    This is good news. There is an extremist element that can't tolerate non-PC views and this is a barrier to them. I also recall that another universty in the area, the University of Toledo, fired a black woman who wrote in a newspaper editorial that she objected that civil rights and gay rights are being treated as if they are the same. The woman is also suing the university.

    I hope that this makes them think that they can't discriminate against people because of their religious or cultural views.

  • OneAmerican Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 28, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    "Counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality..." So why was she dismissed then? Oh, wait...I don't see anything on that list that says counselors do not condone or engage in hypocrisy...that must be how the got around it.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 28, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    This whole profession is dysfunctional. It's as if Jesus were to come to earth and not be able to tell people the truth because he needs to accept all of the dysfunction without applying the remedy.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 28, 2012 7:08 a.m.

    "Obama closed 880 Chrysler dealerships and only one was a Democrat donor (he gave to Hillary)."

    New headline "Obama hates Republican Chrysler Auto Dealers"

    In breaking news today, it was determined that Obama used only political affiliation as a criteria in determining which Chrysler Dealerships to close.

    Where do you come up with this stuff? Who would actually go looking?

    Is this the kind of information the "lamestream media" fails to report?

    too funny.

  • hansentw San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 28, 2012 5:39 a.m.

    Virgil @9:19 p.m. - you are absolutely correct. When the shoe is on the other foot, the story is completely different. Hypocrisy at its most basic, and yet they are blind to it.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 27, 2012 9:24 p.m.

    "Counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status/partnership, language preference, socioeconomic status or any basis proscribed by law..."

    So the university discriminated against a Christian student for not violating her religion...

    New York attempted to require every medical doctor to perform an abortion during their residency.
    California attempted to make it an ethics violation to oppose same sex marriage.
    Now they are attempting to for Christian students out of Counseling programs.
    A University of Utah drama student failed a class because she would not take the Lord's name in vain, as specified in a script.

    Give the left time, they will force people of faith out of every profession that pays well.

    Obama closed 880 Chrysler dealerships and only one was a Democrat donor (he gave to Hillary).

    These clowns are waging economic war on Christians.

    Jan. 27, 2012 9:19 p.m.

    "This case is about what is in the best interest of a person who is in need of counseling"

    Yeah, right. So, if a gay counselor is uncomfortable affirming the beliefs of a homophobic person and refers them to another counselor, they will be treated the same way, right?