A graduate student has filed a lawsuit accusing Augusta State University officials of violating her constitutional rights by ordering her to change her views opposing homosexuality.
Jennifer Keeton, a graduate student in the school of counseling, says in her court filing that the school threatened to expel her if she didn’t complete a remediation plan that includes diversity sensitivity workshops. Keeton had said in and out class that, according to her Christian beliefs, homosexuality is immoral and a lifestyle choice, according to her suit.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Augusta. The university has not been served with the lawsuit and officials declined to comment on the case, spokeswoman Kathy Schofe said Friday. She did say that the university does not discriminate and has policies in place to protect students if they believe they have been discriminated against.
Keeton is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a coalition of Christian attorneys. The suit accuses Augusta State officials of violating Keeton’s First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion.
“A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here,” David French, senior counsel for the defense fund, said in a news release. “Abandoning one’s own religious beliefs should not be a precondition at a public university for obtaining a degree.”
Keeton, who is pursuing a master’s degree in the education college’s counseling program, was told her beliefs are incompatible with the prevailing views of the counseling profession, her attorneys said in a news release.
[…]The defense fund has filed similar lawsuits against Missouri State University and Eastern Michigan University.
It’s good that the ADF is on the case, as usual.