A Michigan university has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a
graduate counseling student who was expelled because her religious
beliefs collided with school policy.
More than two years ago, Eastern Michigan University refused to
allow Julea Ward to refer a homosexual client to another counselor
because of her Christian beliefs. The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals reversed a lower-court decision which sided with the
school. Jeremy Tedesco of Alliance Defending Freedom says the court made
the right ruling.
"The university's request essentially was that Julea
be willing to violate her religious beliefs as a condition for
getting her degree, and the Sixth Circuit said that's not something
a university can do -- and that's the right rule."
Rather than going back to trial, EMU decided to settle with Ward
for $75,000 and expunge the expulsion from her record.
"You know, she was ripped out of school when she was nearly done
with the program in Eastern Michigan and really had to start over.
We're really happy for her, obviously, that she's able to defray a
lot of those costs that were caused by EMU ousting her from the
A university spokesman says the settlement enables the
university to keep its policies, programs, and curricular