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ACTION ALERT — DETROIT FREE PRESS — Democrat's bill would let counseling students decline clients over beliefs

July 13, 2011
Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,

Please read the Detroit Free Press article below, then please take advantage of this rare opportunity to encourage a Democratic elected official in Michigan willing to stand up to militant homosexual activists’ political agenda of intolerance and discrimination.

Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, Democratic Floor Leader in the state Senate, is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 518, which would prohibit universities from discriminating against Christian counseling students who refuse to compromise their faith while counseling patients. The legislation comes in response to Eastern Michigan University’s expulsion of Julea Ward, a 4.3 GPA Christian counseling student who refused to counsel a patient on how to improve his homosexual relationship.

Sen. Hunter is getting beat up by homosexual activists and his fellow Democrats for daring defend Julea Ward and other Christian students. Please call or e-mail Sen. Hunter today and thank him for sponsoring SB 518.

E-mail: Phone: 517-373-0994

And please contact your state Senator today and urge him to support SB 518. Click here to find your state senator’s contact informatoin:

Thanks as always for your support of AFA-Michigan’s stand for Michigan families and traditional family values. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution today — which is especially critical during the summer months when contributions are down — please do so by credit card at or by mail to AFA-Michigan, PO Box 1904, Midland, MI 48641.

Thanks again, and God bless and strengthen you and your family!
Glenn's signature
Gary Glenn


Detroit, Michigan
July 13, 2011

Democrat’s bill would let counseling
students decline clients over beliefs

by David Jesse / Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

State Sen. Tupac Hunter

Sen. Tupac Hunter

Ever since Julea Ward sued Eastern Michigan University, saying it kicked her out of the counseling program when she refused to counsel a gay client, Republican politicians have lined up to offer her support.
That includes Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who filed a brief in federal court supporting Ward’s position.

But a new bill designed to give counseling students the freedom to decline to counsel clients based on religious beliefs or moral conviction adds a wrinkle to the debate — it was drafted by Sen. Tupac Hunter, the Senate’s Democratic floor leader.

“I firmly believe that it is wrong for any institution of higher learning in this state to expel a student from a program because of their refusal to compromise their own belief system,” Hunter said in a statement. His office said Tuesday he was unavailable for interviews on the topic.

In her initial lawsuit, filed in 2009, Ward alleged EMU dismissed her from its graduate counseling program after she declined to counsel a gay client and instead referred the client to another counselor.

EMU responded that it dismissed her from the program for failing to fulfill curricular requirements and for not following the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics.

A federal judge ruled in favor of EMU in 2010. Ward has appealed that ruling.

Special interest groups from both sides of the political spectrum weighed in with support briefs.

Republican politicians tried this year to put language into higher education budget bills to have universities report to the Legislature on how they would “protect” counseling students’ “deeply held religious beliefs.”

This bill is different.

It would be called the Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act and would ban universities from dismissing students who declined to counsel clients because of conflicting religious beliefs. If dismissed, a student could ask a court to be reinstated.

“I believe a student should not be forced into a situation in which he/she would have to provide treatment that compromises their religious or moral convictions or requires them to conceal their values conflict in order to avoid expulsion from a degree program,” Hunter said in the statement. “How is this good for the student or the client, especially? There is no dishonor to the profession nor harm done to the client by simply referring him/her to another individual who can best assist the client in meeting his/her established goals for counseling.”

EMU spokesman Geoff Larcom said the university will cooperate with the Legislature’s mandate if the bill makes it into law. However, he reiterated EMU’s position that Ward’s dismissal had nothing to do with her religious beliefs.|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s


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