So let’s say you go to your therapist to work out some issues, and a few sessions in, you mention going to synagogue.
“Well, there’s your problem right there,” he says. “You’re Jewish. Ugh, Jews. You guys are the worst. Get out.”
That’s pretty much what former counseling student Andrew Cash wanted to do, only for queers — to refuse to treat them because he considers them immoral. Missouri State University felt that this might not be a great way for a therapist to care for his clients, and so he was kicked out — and now, of course, he’s suing. Because he’s the victim here.
Specifically, Cash said that he could counsel gay people, but not a couple. He said that his style is based on his “core beliefs, values and Christian worldview.” Which is all fine and dandy, but that’s really not allowed — the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics specifically says that you’re not allowed to use your own personal baggage as an excuse to discriminate.
In fact, there’s a whole clause devoted to it:
A.11.b. Values Within Termination and Referral
Counselors refrain from referring prospective and current clients based solely on the counselor’s personally held values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature.
And that makes perfect sense. Imagine if other medical professionals were able to do the same: You go to a doctor to look at a suspicious mole, and he refuses to take your insurance because you have it through your same-sex spouse. Or you go to a dentist to get a root canal, and he tells you that he won’t use any anesthesia because he’s in a cult that worships pain. Or you need open-heart surgery, but the doctor’s a Jehovah’s Witness and might let you bleed to death because he doesn’t do blood transfusions.
You would of course be free to go to other doctors — and you probably should in all of those situations — but really those people shouldn’t be allowed to practice medicine in the first place. A medical license means something, and isn’t just handed out to anyone who wants to make up their own fancy imaginary treatments. If your invisible sky daddy is so important to you that you need to break the ethical rules of your chosen discipline, well, maybe theological school might be a better fit.