AHA News |  

Take Action: Tell The Michigan House To Reject The Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act!

Extremist religious groups and their allies in government are at it again.

Unfortunately, the Education Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives recently approved House Bill 5040, also known as the “Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act.” The bill now goes to the House floor to be voted upon in the near future.

This bill, if passed, would subvert the national standards of the counseling process and legalize discrimination in our nation’s higher education institutions.

The “Freedom of Conscience Act” was created following a tragic incident at Eastern Michigan University where a gay student was discriminated against by a fellow student named Julea Ward. Ms. Ward, who served as a graduate counselor in the university’s counseling program, was removed from her position and expelled from the university after she attempted to refer a client to another counselor because the client's file indicated a past gay relationship, a relationship Ms. Ward morally opposes as an evangelical Christian.

The Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and the Ethical Standards of the American School Counselor Association, which student counselors are obliged to follow as a curricular requirement of the university, mandate that counselors are not to allow their personal values to intrude into their professional work. Since Ms. Ward broke these standards, the school was correct in terminating her from her position.

Under House Bill 5040, public and private colleges, universities, junior colleges, and community colleges would be prohibited from disciplining or discriminating against a student in the counseling, social work, or psychology programs, because the student refused to serve a client whose goals conflicted with a student's sincerely held religious belief or moral convictions.

 If you are a Michigan Resident, this is your chance to stand up against state-sanctioned religious discrimination. Contact your state Representatives and ask them to vote against the “Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act.”

The American Humanist Association is committed to defending the right of all people not to be discriminated against, and stands in favor of the rigorous standards that are present in the counseling profession.

I ask you to join this important effort by taking action now. Thank you for standing up against religious discrimination.


Sincerely,

Roy Speckhardt
Executive Director

American Humanist Association

Check out what the AHA staff is watching! http://thehumanist.com/arts_entertain...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here's another installment of Carl Coon’s ongoing “A Short History of Evolution”...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Five Non-Magic Words: “How Can I Help You?” Advancing the Humanist Chaplaincy h...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia C...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new affiliate, Deltona Humanist, to the American Humani...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Idaho Humanists, check out this Summer Day Camp for Kids! For more information...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out Executive Director Roy Speckhardt's new Huffpost article, Pandora's Bo...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Freedom from Religion in Kazakhstan: An Interview with Atheist Blogger Aleksand...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is A. Philip Randolph's 125th birthday. He was the American Humanist Assoc...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Did you know about some of these official State Symbols? http://thehumanist.com...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanevangelist: Skyfall, Humanist Style by Clay Farris Naff. http://thehu...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you, or someone you know, be a good fit for the American Humanist Associat...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is an interesting letter to the editor of The Press Enterprise. http://www...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy 271st Birthday Thomas Jefferson! Read Jefferson's wall of separation lett...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good so there are options... Happy Friday Everyone!! http://obscureinternet....

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Bible According to Thomas Jefferson. http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are getting ready! Are you? Register today! http://conference.americanhumani...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Inheriting the Wind by Daniel Thomas Moran! http://thehumanist.com/arts_enterta...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! What did the July/August, 1981 issue of the Humanist magazi...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good! Now we can all relax... Science is here! Four Blood Moons: Total Lunar...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out this info-graph from the Public Religion Research Institute. http://...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Rules Are for Schmucks: House Rules. By Luis Granados http://thehumanist.com/ne...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another installment of Carl Coon's A Short History of Evolution. This week's top...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Matthew Bulger reports from On The Hill. http://thehumanist.com/news/nati...

11 days ago