How do we handle bigots?
EMU, backed up by the courts, says that in certain circumstances, we remove them.
I have some mixed feelings about this case.
The court decided, rightly so in my opinion, that she does not have the right to obtain a degree accredited by the ACA (American Counseling Association) while engaging in behavior that is expressly forbidden by the ACA code of ethics – a code of ethics that she was made aware of before entering the program and taught extensively while enrolled in it. If she wanted to be a “christian counselor” then she should have enrolled in a Christian school that offered some alternative counseling degree that permits students to refuse to treat gays, or to refer gays to “reparative” therapy (as this student said she felt was appropriate.)
MY problem with this is that I fear it will encourage other bigots who aspire to be counselors or social workers to hide their beliefs and to actually agree to treat gay clients. I would not want this to happen; I think people like her shouldn’t be allowed within a hundred yards of troubled gay people seeking counseling. By being up front about her prejudices she probably did some gay folks a favor.
I understand the ACA code of ethics, and I think that in that context the school was right to dismiss her. But I’m not -100%- sure that the COE as currently written is going to result in a superior outcome than one that just says “If you hate gay people, never take one as a patient; refer them elsewhere.”