Judge Rules Against Jennifer Keeton, Counseling Student Who Supports Reparative Therapy

Do you remember Jennifer Keeton? She was the Augusta State University counseling student kicked out of her masters program after she admitted she supported conversion therapy and that if a patient told her he was gay, she would tell him he need to be “cured.”

The school insisted she take a diversity-sensitivity course and when she refused, she got the boot. Keeton brought suit against the school for violating her constitutional rights in 2010. And then filed an appeal when the case was thrown out.

Well, she lost again.

Says the Georgia Federal District Court:

“Keeton’s conflation of personal and professional values, or at least her difficulty in discerning the difference, appears to have been rooted in her opinion that the immorality of homosexual relations is a matter of objective and absolute moral truth. The policies which govern the ethical conduct of counselors, however, with their focus on client welfare and self-determination, make clear that the counselor’s professional environs are not intended to be a crucible for counselors to test metaphysical or moral propositions.

Plato’s Academy or a seminary the Counselor Program is not; that Keeton’s opinions were couched in absolute or ontological terms does not give her constitutional license to make it otherwise…

Keeton’s allegations do not show that imposition of the remediation plan was substantially motivated by her personal religious views. The plan was instead imposed “because she was unwilling to comply with the ACA Code of Ethics.”

After dismissing all of Keeton’s claims, Judge James Randal Hall clarified that “when someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its rules and ethical requirements.” So hopefully after two years of litigation, Keetongets that while homosexuality is not a choice, your career path is.

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  • Baba Booey

    Good for this judge.

  • Gigi

    I remember seeing her interviewed when this became news. She was such a sanctimonious little b#tch. I’m glad the judge ruled this way. That’s the last thing we need, a whole whack of fundies suing schools for trampling their religious freedoms. Jesus!

  • Clueless

    Pretty girl !

  • 1equalityUSA

    Maybe she can go work on, “The View” and become as big a pain in the ass as that other chick that won’t shut the Hell up. I forgot her name, annoying dirty blonde woman with the same sanctimonious expression as this wad above. Someone needs to draw Dork titers on them.

  • Daez

    @1equalityUSA: That would be Elizabeth Hasslebeck (SP?), wife of Tim Hasslebeck (SP?) who I believe plays football in surprise, surprise Texas.

    I totally agree with the decision, but shouldn’t this have been a question that was asked on the application (or in the interview) if the school is now suddenly going to get all up in arms about it.

    I do not believe she deserves her degree, but I do believe the school should be mandated to refund her tuition since her viewpoints obviously did not change and the school should have used more discretion in pre-screening applicants.

  • walt zipprian

    Timothy Thomas “Tim” Hasselbeck (born April 6, 1978) is an American ESPN analyst and former professional American football quarterback for the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills.

    Surprise. Not all right wingers are in Texas.

  • Clockwork

    “when someone voluntarily chooses to enter a profession, he or she must comply with its
    >rules and ethical requirements.”

    This applies to everyone at one time or another. Employers have a wide range of controls at their disposal.

  • Jason

    Does or doesn’t she know about the damage reparative therapy can inflict? People who try it usually end up 10 times as messed up afterward

  • Dew

    For everyone complaining about Elisabeth Hasselbeck in an article that isn’t even about her, you should be aware that she is actually a big advocate for gay rights and marriage equality. She has clarified her stance several times on The View. Next time you want to judge someone, do your research first. Or better yet, don’t ever judge or make assumptions.

  • Alexa

    @Dew: did anyone even comment on Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s views on marriage equality? They said she has a sanctimonious look and never shuts up, both of which are true. Good for her for being pro-equality, but she’s still a bitch.

  • what?

    @Dew: did i miss something or did only one person mildly complained about hasselbeck? and just because they are for gay rights doesn’t mean they can’t be annoying and that people can’t be annoyed by them.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Hey Dew, Sorry to have offended you. Women like the snip above bring out the worst in me. It wasn’t until one of the commenters mentioned that the view gal had a husband that I started feeling badly about my comment. Somebody loves her. Sorry. Woke up with hospital-hangover and slightly less tolerant of dorks. Thanks E.H. for verbalizing support for our community. I thought your were against us. It’s been a while since the T.V. has been on. I apologize. Jennifer Keeton, on the other hand, needs to get a grip.

  • jeffjj

    As a counsellor and future psychologist, I am glad that ppl like this will not be allowed to practice their personal/right-wing-religious bastardization of a profession intended to help and not harm it’s patients. Get religious “nutbars”(a professional term, lmao) out of places they can do harm, leave them in the pulpits and FRC meetings.

  • laserlightbeams


  • DistantJad

    It was an obvious decision. Any other outcome would have been ridiculous by the court.

  • wildseas

    She needs to move into the 21st century

  • Knew the L.A./ Palm Springs Scenes, too

    @1equalityUSA: OH, you mean the mealy-mouthed one on the right with the sing-songy voice? I can’t imagine how her husband and family can stand it–I would go postal just having to be stuck next to her on an airplane!

  • Alex

    The resident bigot on The View is actually Sherri Sheperd. The “is the world round or flat” ding dong on that panel. Of course, calling her out would be totally not PC as she’sa black women, and gay men never, ever dare call out the blatant homophobia of black people. It just be the end of the world.
    Asian gay who watches the show EVERY day and nothings more ignorant than Sherri.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Alex, The last time I caught the view, Rosie was on it. I don’t know about that show. When Prop 8 was in full bloom, I remember the blonde woman nebulously yammering about marriage being man-woman and all, but like Dew said above, perhaps she’s had a change of heart. If that’s the case and she is actively speaking out for equality, I have nothing to say but, “Thank you.” Jennifer Keeton is the focus of this article and I had no business bringing another into it. Keeton wants us to change to make her and society more comfortable. Keeton wants us to live inauthentic lives and lie about our true selves. Our innate orientation is not respected, nor is it considered worthy of recognition. This is a person who would likely not want rights extended to who fellow compatriots, American citizens, because of something that she has been unable to understand or resolve. Keeton is my enemy. She is right up there with Princeton’s Robert P. George, Maggie Gallagher, New Hampshire’s Nancy wiggle Elliott, Michelle and Marcus Bachmann, and any other NOMster that slithers out of the woodwork shooting cherry-picked Bible verses at us as though they were bullets in an effort to foster and rationalize the hatred in their hearts for those who were born differently. I was a lesbian since kindergarten, and for a young, straight, know-it-all to babble about changing me to make her feel better annoys me to no end. They have photos of me in full military dress in a fox hole at the age of five. Cowboy guns at the age of six. Machine guns, no dolls, 501’s, no dresses. Sweatshirts-flannel shirts and skateboards, no frills. Jeep, no bug. I was born with this orientation and at the age I am now, no reparative therapy is going to ever make me something I am not. Keeton, take your bogus ideas and blow.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Queerty, what is up with having to re-submit my name and email, did you guys get hacked? Now i’ve got this “Different peron #1 using a similar name” after my log on name. Any way you can excise this addition, as though it were an unwanted skin tag?

  • NativeNYker73

    Happy to see that this has received the proper response from the legal system. As a mental health professional, I can’t begin to tell you how disturbing this story was when it was first brought to light. The audacity of some f*cking people…

  • Chuck

    She looks kind of like a white Lucy Liu.

  • peter

    Christians like her become involved in counseling precisely because the can evangelize the distressed. They’re as bad as Scientologists!

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