Missouri School Settles Gay Adoption Row

All right, let’s get this day started right. Or is it wrong? We’ll let you decide on that one, readers.

Missouri State University has settled a lawsuit with a student by the name of Emily Brooker. It seems Brooker took issue with an assigment to write letters to her lawmakers advocating gay adoption. A good Christian of the Ted Haggard variety, Brooker couldn’t reconcile her academic dreams with her deep-seated belief that homos are rotten child-eating mongrels. Thus, she refused to do the assignment.

365 Gay reports:

Brooker claimed that after she refused to sign the letter because of her religious beliefs she was subjected to a two-and-a-half hour interrogation by faculty members, who allegedly asked her personally invasive questions such as, “Do you think gays and lesbians are sinners?” and “Do you think I am a sinner?”

To which Brooker replied, “You’re a hell demon, may you burn for all eternity for even posing such a question!”

Okay, she didn’t say that, but she did call her lawyers, who successfully argued that Brooker’s first amendment rights had been violated. As a result, MSU’s agreed to pay Brooker 9,000 bones and the offending profressor, Frank Kauffman has stepped down as the head of the program.

So, what was the program? Social Work. Nice, huh?

In case you’re not up on Missouri law, the state lifted the gay foster parent ban back in July, citing that the law did not specifically disqualify gays from fostering/adopting, thus they had a legal right. Conservative lawmakers vowed to write a bill that will permanently prohibit the homos from adopting or fostering children. Said bill has yet to be written.

As part of the social work program, Brooker’s professors urged her to sign the National Association of Social Work’s code of ethics, a contract that requires workers to honor LGBT rights. The code reads:

Social workers should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, or mental or physical disability.

That sounds pretty fair to us and when we first read this story we got pretty hot under the proverbial collar. The more we think about it, however, the more we wonder if Brooker had a right to protest the assignment.

This brings us back to our follow-up on The Garden Guy, in which we asked “should religion be simply a spiritual practice, or should people attempt to extend their religious beliefs to social – and thus potentially divisive – practices?”

Should social workers – those defenders of civil society, “family values” and America’s discarded children and adults – be forced to support cultures/ideals that contradict their religious practices? One reader says, “Religion should not be applied anywhere beyond the self”, while another insists, “If your religious values have no social values, then they have no value”. Both of which, we think, fall under the category of “notable” (obviously, because we’ve just noted them).

Loyal readers probably know where we stand on this issue, but why don’t you guys duke it our via comments and let us know what you think…