Jennifer Keeton, the student fighting
for her right to counsel her anti-gay views, has lost her legal
Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
On Friday, a federal appeals court
upheld a lower court's ruling in favor of Augusta State University's
decision to expel Keeton from its counseling program.
Keeton sued the university last year
after they declared her anti-gay beliefs incompatible with the
counseling profession. She argued that professors had violated her
rights to free speech and the free exercise of her faith.
In its ruling, the lower court said it
was reasonable for a public university to enforce academic standards.
The three-judge appeals panel
unanimously ruled that Keeton was unlikely to prevail in her case.
According to the lawsuit, Keeton was
presented with a remediation plan in May 2010, in which faculty
members said her views on gay and transgender persons are
“professionally suspect.” The plan called for Keeton to attend a
minimum of three diversity workshops with an emphasis on the gay
community, increase her exposure and interaction with gay populations
(attending gay pride was suggested), and increase her study and
research on improving counseling effectiveness with LGBT people.
The graduate student was advised that
failure to complete the plan could result in dismissal from the
Keeton described the plan as an attack
on her religious beliefs. The plan would require her to “tell
clients wanting to hear it that homosexual sex is moral,” she said
in court papers.