Appeals Court to Hear Case of Counseling Student Dismissed from Program for Refusing to Work with LGBT Clients

ACLU Filed Amicus Brief That Argues Counselors Can’t Discriminate As Part of Professional Training at a Public University FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; Cincinnati — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is slated to hear arguments today in the case of a graduate student who was removed from Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) counseling program because she refused to counsel lesbian, gay and bisexual clients on any issues relating to same-sex relationships during her clinical training. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan filed a friend-of-the-court brief in February supporting EMU’s right to require the student, who was training to become a school counselor, to follow the curricular requirements including not to discriminate against potential clients. “Students seeking counseling must be able to trust that they will receive the help they need, free from discrimination,” said ACLU Deputy Legal Director Louise Melling. “Counselors are entitled to their own religious beliefs, but they do not have a right to discriminate as part of their professional training at a public university.” EMU requires its graduate counseling students to meet the university’s clinical standards and abide by the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics, which forbids counselors from discriminating in their clinical practice. “EMU has a right to insist that its counseling students understand that mental health professionals have a duty to their clients first and foremost,” said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan. “Public school counselors should not be able to close their doors to gay students looking for guidance.” The ACLU’s amicus brief can be found at:

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.