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EMU's response to Attorney General's brief

Vice President for Communications Walter Kraft issued the following statement March 11, 2011:

We are confident the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will arrive at the same conclusion as the July 2010 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The District Court dismissed the entire case -- all six claims against 17 defendants. The Court's ruling reflected strong views on the case, as conveyed in this particular section: "Plaintiff has distorted the facts in this case to support her position that defendants dismissed her due to her religious beliefs." (Opinion, p. 28.) The brief filed by the Attorney General relied on these factual distortions to support the arguments advanced in its brief. 

The court agreed the University acted appropriately and did not discriminate against Julea Ward. She was dismissed from the program for failing to meet curricular requirements. 

This case has never been about religion or religious discrimination. It is not about homosexuality or sexual orientation. This case is about what is in the best interest of a client who is in need of counseling, and following the curricular requirements of our highly-respected and nationally-accredited counseling program, which adheres to the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and the Ethical Standards of the American School Counselor Association. Those Ethical Standards require that counselors are not to allow their personal values to intrude into their professional work.

As one of the premiere teacher-training institutions in the United States, Eastern Michigan University takes seriously our Constitutional mission to ensure that every student who graduates from our academic programs meets applicable curricular and regulatory requirements. We will continue to pursue and defend this mission at every opportunity. 

This case is important to Eastern Michigan, it also is important to universities across the country, as well as to the several universities in Michigan that have filed briefs in support of our position in this case.

Further information about the case can be found at www.emich.edu/aca_case.