Last year a university student studying to be a guidance counsellor filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University when she was dismissed because she refused to affirm homosexual behaviour of clients on religious grounds.
Yesterday, the Judge dismissed the lawsuit.
Thank God ! (pun intended)
As a speaker and facilitator on creating LGBTQ safe spaces, I applaud both the university and the ruling judge for their insight and courage in a climate that still pits human rights against each other- usually to the detriment of those who are LGBT or Q.
Suicide rates for LGBTQ teens are higher than their straight peers because we live in a society that tells them it’s not okay to be who they are. I shudder to think of the implications of yet another high school guidance counsellor who “doesn’t believe in homosexuality” and the impact on potential students who come to her office for support, guidance, safety and acceptance in a world that often offers none of these to LGBTQ individuals.
This masters student was not dismissed because of her religious views. She was dismissed because she didn’t see the impact of her wanting to switch clients with another student in a clinical class because the client was gay – since her religious views prevented her from affirming their behaviour.
Great message to kids – “I’ll work with you, but not if you’re gay”.
That’s discrimination, plain ans simple.
Religion versus Sexual Orientation is an old song. One that I’m getting tired of hearing.
Human rights are not competing. I have the right to be who I am, and you have the right to believe what you do. These can live side by side; by me not asking you to be gay and you not asking me to believe something that discounts who I am or using it against me.
The right to respectful and competent service -especially in the social services – that sees all of who a person is, works with them to move through whatever issues they are struggling with, and leave them at least a little better off than when they arrived is everyone’s right. You can do this by seeing the inherent human-ness of each individual. Period.
Thank God we have one less homophobic high school guidance counselor. And thank God institutions of higher learning are adhering to their mandate of “higher” learning.
Read the full article.
Speaker, Thought Provoker
© Copyright Annemarie Shrouder 2010