A former Missouri State University graduate student claims he was kicked out of the program for refusing to counsel a gay couple due to his religious beliefs — and he’s taking his claim to court.
Andrew Cash started the master’s counseling program in 2007, and in 2011 he told a professor he wouldn’t counsel gay couples. By 2014, he was kicked out of the program.
The Kansas City Star has more (via AP):
The Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, filed the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Cash. The lawsuit in federal court in Springfield names the university’s board of governors and several school officials as defendants. It claims the university denied Cash’s rights to religion and free speech and seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages.
According to the lawsuit, W. K. Boyce, executive director of the Christian-based counseling center where Cash interned, made a presentation to one of Cash’s classes in 2011. In response to a question during that presentation, Boyce said he would counsel gay individuals separately but would refer gay couples to other counselors who did not share his religious beliefs.
About a week later, Cash’s internship coordinator questioned Cash about his own views on counseling gay couples, the lawsuit said. Cash said he also would counsel gay people individually but refer them to someone else for couple counseling.
The issue is, the counseling body that certifies therapists directly says that homosexuality is not something that is wrong, can’t be expressed that it is, etc… additionally the state university has non-discrimination policies.
So basically what he is trying to do is say he wants to be a marriage councilor and is mad because they kicked him out because he said he would only council white couples.
His refusal directly contradicts the teachings of the official certifications he is trying for.
Anyone else notice that he was in a Master’s program (typically 2 years) for at least 4 years, possibly 7 (the article isn’t clear on this), and still hadn’t finished? There’s a whole different problem here than just his bigotry. Like… He’s too dumb for the program, anyway.
LOL! Missed that, but I think you nailed it! He was failing and needed an excuse to claim it wasn’t his fault!
I can just about see referring gay couples elsewhere as an ethically appropriate response, if he did it not as “you’re horrible people, go away” but as “I’m afraid my own problems might interfere with giving you proper care.” Of course, ideally he wouldn’t let that happen, but I don’t doubt for a moment that even very good counselors do now and then, perhaps without even knowing it.
In the early 1950’s (at age 16) I lived in a boys’ half-way house in Manhattan and one of the conditions was we had to see a social worker once a week. Early in my residency, I fell in love (or what passes for it at 16) with a boy my age at work. I hadn’t yet fully accepted that I was gay, but I was physically ill with lust and longing for this boy. I brought it up with my social worker, who was as kind and educated a man as ever lived, and of course he told me it wasn’t anything to be upset about. (He and the psychiatrist he liaised with were convinced I wasn’t really gay, partly because I hadn’t yet been able to act on my attraction to boys . . . that changed!) In one of our later sessions, he was talking about his experiences counselling soldiers in WWII and mentioned how this thing would suddenly “raise its ugly head” with some farm boys (don’t ask why he chose farm boys ) who had never thought about it in their lives. I’m 100% certain he wasn’t aware of his choice of words at the moment, though he may have realized later. In any case, a couple of years later he apologetically recommended me to a woman psychoanalyst because he realized his upbringing and temperament and the zeitgeist of the era he was raised wouldn’t allow him to be completely objective on the subject. My point with all this is that while I 100% agree no one should be allowed to refuse any service to any of us for any reason, I also realize there can be educated, kind, loving and well-meaning people who just can’t wrap their heads around the idea of same sex. (I feel a visceral revulsion at the sight of two old — 50 or more . . . and, yes, that includes myself– people making out, and though I would never show it I just can’t overome it.) I’m not saying this applies in this case, just that perhaps we shouldn’t become too close-minded in our battles for acceptance.
“It all sounds a bit messy to us, though we still can’t understand why people continue to enter into career fields where they just may have to offer services to LGBT people.”
Which would be any career field…
When I was a counselor even as far back as the mid 1980’s we had to sign a code of ethics to join our national association that forbid discrimination against “sexual orientation” among all the others. This fraud wants to be accepted as a credible therapist without being held to the same standard as others.
@DMRX: Exactly. Masters program only takes 2 years.
I’m a licensed therapist and I recall one of my profs in grad school saying, “if you have a problem with gay people you are in the wrong profession”. That being said I recall a few so-called Christians in the problem refusing to discuss homosexuality and definitely being judgmental about gay people in the program.
In the “old days” (1960s and 70s) these people did a lot of hard to gay people so I have zero sympathy. There’s still a lot of institutionalized homophobia in the profession especially upon psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. I always delight in finding opportunities for confrontation in these cases because these assholes know times have changed for good and their back is against the wall.
@DCguy: You don’t actually have to make it worse than it is. I don’t think he said he would “only council[sic] white couples.”
I’m sorry – he is looking for a scapegoat.
“Andrew Cash started the master’s counseling program in 2007, and in 2011 he told a professor he wouldn’t counsel gay couples. By 2014, he was kicked out of the program.”
This was a MASTERS degree. 2 to 3 years maximum. He entered in 2007 and was kicked out in 2014 – and wants to blame it on prejudice about his religious beliefs? Seriously? I’m sorry, I made ABD (all but dissertation) in a STEM field in 2.5 years with another year for a doctoral dissertation. 7 years in a Master’s program is a disgrace. I don’t think his views on gay people had ANYTHING to do with the university’s decision (although, after-all, he can’t be licensed with views that are that anti-scientific in a field where the actual science is recognized). I think he was booted out for unsatisfactory academic progress. Period.
This is just him attempting not to lose his shirt.
Glad he was kicked out its time people learned that it’s not 1950 any more and bigoted actions should not be tolerated
Shouldn’t have kicked him out, just let him graduate, then he finds his job options are limited and he probably just has to work for the mormon church.
@DuMaurier: What I did was simply change gay to all minorities.
Too many people are willing to forgive people if they attack lgbts, but seem shocked when you point out that if the person had said the same thing about minorities they would never allow that leeway.
The Bible has often been used as an excuse to deny African Americans rights, what this guy is doing is no different.
If you don’t think the comparison is apt, then that may say something about you.
@captainburrito: stated : Shouldn’t have kicked him out, just let him graduate, then he finds his job options are limited and he probably just has to work for the mormon church.
And what if he said his beliefs are that all children and wives should be beaten? What you are saying that is that somebody who fundamentally is at odds with the very standards of the certification should be allowed out to damage others and practice for no other reason than they say “Gee, I really think this.”
Ok fine, my religion says that anybody who has ever posted on this board needs to pay me $10.00 per day.
Now you’d better start sending me money, if you don’t you’re oppressing me.
Comments are closed.