Archive of ACA News Items

Lawsuit Against Augusta State University Dismissed by Federal Court

Jun 28, 2012
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Augusta State University (ASU) student who challenged the right of the counselor education program to require counselors-in-training to learn how to serve gay clients in a supportive nonjudgmental manner.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Augusta State University (ASU) student who challenged the right of the counselor education program to require counselors-in-training to learn how to serve gay clients in a supportive and nonjudgmental manner. In a ruling handed down on June 26, 2012, Judge J. Randal Hall found that ASU rules were not in violation of the religious rights of the student who brought the suit.

The decision supported the role of the ACA Code of Ethics, cited by ASU, as the professional standard that governs how counselors should approach and work with clients and avoid using their personal beliefs in an influential manner. The following passage from Judge Hall's finding speaks to that role:

"The counselor program's charge is to train and prepare students to become licensed professional counselors, and to this end ASU faculty and officials have incorporated into the program professional codes of conduct applicable to practicing counselors. Indeed, adoption of the professional codes and the concomitant remediation mechanism were measures animated in large part by the desire to obtain and maintain the counselor program's professional accreditation -- an important designation that assures students, employers, and the public that its curriculum meets professional standards. The legitimate sweep of the program's policies therefore cannot be doubted."

ACAeNews readers can access the full ruling at the following link: http://www.splc.org/pdf/keeton_district.pdf

Contact Name

Contact Title

Contact Email

Contact Phone

Related Info

Yearly Archives

Join/Reinstate Your ACA and Division Memberships Today

  • Maximize your Professional Development
  • Learn more about your specialty—join a division
  • Stay ahead of the educational learning curve
  • Advocate for the counseling care of tomorrow
  • Expand your networking connections

Learn More

Join Now!