by Walter Kraft, Published January 27, 2012
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals made no legal findings against the University. It did not rule that the University engaged in discrimination and it did not rule in favor of Julea Ward. Rather, the Sixth Circuit Court ruled that there needs to be additional legal proceedings before a decision can be reached. The Court also found that the Regents and the President of Eastern Michigan University were properly dismissed from the lawsuit and refused to reinstate them despite Ward's request.
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 person 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.
Further information, including the complete Sixth Circuit Court ruling; the July 2010 District Court ruling; supporting briefs filed in the case; and additional background, can be found at www.emich.edu/aca_case.