Affirm queerness in Ypsitucky, or quit

At my sister’s alma mater, Eastern Michigan University:

The ADF said EMU “requires students in its program to affirm or validate homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship and prohibits students from advising clients that they can change their homosexual behavior.”

The public interest law firm said Ward never has addressed homosexual behavior in any form during counseling sessions.

“Julea did the responsible thing and followed her supervising professor’s advice to have the client referred to a counselor who did not have a conscience issue with the very matter to be discussed in counseling,” French said. “She would gladly have counseled the client if the subject had been nearly any other matter.”

The student was targeted by the school’s disciplinary process as a result of her decision, and she was “informed that the only way she could stay in the graduate school counseling program would be if she agreed to undergo a ‘remediation’ program …to see the ‘error of her ways,'” ADF said.The goal was to have Ward “change her ‘belief system,’ as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships, conforming her beliefs to be consistent with the university’s views,” the law firm said.

She refused and was given the choice of leaving voluntarily or having a formal review.

What makes this story even more piquant is that EMU is adorned by a giant stone phallus. Actually, it’s on Washtenaw Ave, not on campus property, and it is allegedly a water tower. Living near a big dick doesn’t give EMU the right to be a big dick.


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