MICHIGAN: School Settles With Expelled Counselor Who Refused Gay Clients
settled the lawsuit of a counseling graduate student who was expelled in 2008 after refusing to treat gay clients. The suit was brought in 2009 by the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund, who represented the student pro bono.
The former graduate student Julea Ward will be given a $75,000 settlement from the university. Ward was kicked out of the university's counseling program after she refused to affirm a gay client’s relationship during a practicum. Ward said she believes homosexuality is immoral and being gay is a choice and she could not in good conscience counsel the client. EMU vice president for communications Walter Kraft said in a statement EMU decided to resolve the litigation rather than continue to spend money on a costly trial. "The university’s insurance company, M.U.S.I.C., Michigan Universities Self-Insurance Corporation, will pay the cost of the settlement," Kraft said. The end of the case marks a nearly four-year battle between 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.Although the school said that the settlement means its “policies, programs and curricular requirements” will remain as they were when Ward was expelled, World Net Daily and hundreds of its commenters are proclaiming victory.