The Ku Klux Klan will be at Augusta State College later this month showing support of a counseling student who sued the university for forcing her to undergo a “remediation” program due to her anti-gay stances, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
The Chronicle reported today that Bobby Spurlock, “who identified himself as the imperial wizard knighthawk and grand dragon of South Carolina and North Carolina” said the KKK is protesting the university’s decision that Jennifer Keeton undergo a remediation program to learn more about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people after she told professors and students she believed homosexuality to be immoral.
Ku Klux Klan to rally in favor of anti-gay Christian student who sued Augusta State University
The KKK, which plans to be in full costumes, will be protesting at the campus on Oct. 23 from 1-4 p.m. Spurlock said he had talked to school officials about the protest.
“It’s your constitutional right, so how could you tell someone you have to do something completely different?” Spurlock told the Chronicle. “We’re not out to harm her. We’re trying to protest the constitutional rights that they are trying to take away from her.”
Spurlock also said the KKK has not been in contact with Keeton.
“She is no way whatsoever affiliated with us,” he said. “She has not contacted us, but we were contacted by someone that is aware of her.”
Keeton, who is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian organization dedicated to defending “traditional family values,” sued July 21 and alleged her First Amendment rights were violated because her biblical opposition to homosexuality — that she would state in class and to other students — went against the professional code for being an ethical counselor.
A federal judge ruled Aug. 20 that Keeton does not deserve a preliminary injunction against Augusta State University for requiring her to follow a “remediation plan” to help her learn to separate her religious belief that homosexuality is immoral from her duty as a counselor not to impart her personal feelings to patients.
U.S. District Judge J. Randal Hall issued an order denying the preliminary injunction because Keeton did not meet the requirement of “establishing a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of her lawsuit.”
Hall noted that evidence thus far, including ASU faculty testimony at a recent hearing on the preliminary injunction, was consistent with ASU’s position that “it was not [Keeton’s] personal beliefs that were their concern, but rather only her inability to separate her personal beliefs in the judgment-free zone of a professional counseling situation, as mandated by the ethical standards incorporated into ASU’s curriculum.”
The judge also stressed that the case should not be viewed as “pitting Christianity against homosexuality.”
“This case is not about the propriety of Plaintiff’s views or beliefs, or any of the Augusta State University counseling faculty’s views or beliefs, regarding the topics implicated in this case,” Hall wrote.
“Despite any suggestion to the contrary, this is not a case pitting Christianity against homosexuality,” he wrote.
“This case is only about the constitutionality of the actions taken by Defendants regarding Plaintiff within the context of Plaintiff’s Counselor Education masters degree program at Augusta State University, and no more,” he said.