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

What does it mean to be a "cultural Christian" and what is the point? Thoughts?

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This weekend is the fight everyone has been waiting for; Mayweather v Pacquiao....

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, Bo Bennett talks to Drs Joe Gerstein and...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This marriage equality timeline shows just how far the United States has come si...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association is looking for a field intern for the 2015 sum...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

According to Sincere T. Kirabo, social justice activist, skeptic, blogger at Pat...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

For the first time ever, a National Day of Reason resolution has been introduced...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Neil deGrasse Tyson's Star Talk Radio Show has been successful for years, and ha...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA Legal Director David Niose was on Newsmax yesterday to comment on yesterday'...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The latest from AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt: "By removing funding for...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are counting down the final days to AHA's 74th Annual Conference! Are you rea...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

We stand with Baltimore. We stand with Freddie Gray. We stand for peace and just...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the marriage equality case O...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the marriage equality ca...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Humanist Disaster Recovery, a joint project between the AHA and Foundation Beyon...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Thank you Justin Vollmar for translating the Humanist Manifesto III into America...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

It's difficult enough when your family is religious while you are not. What do y...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

On May 7th at the BAM Harvey Theater in New York, BBC World Service’s Razia Iqba...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone!

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Yesterday was Openly Secular Day. Coming from Texas, AHA's Matt Bulger shares hi...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

How are politicians catering to Christianity?

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

For those who were wondering how they could read about SMART Recovery in the Hum...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Join us in Denver, CO for the 74th Annual Conference of the AHA, May 7th to the...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is Openly Secular Day! Show others in your community that they know a huma...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Victory! A public school in Colorado will no longer be allowed to partner with O...

12 days ago