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Anti-gay Ga. counseling student’s lawsuit dismissed

Jennifer Keeton, a former graduate counseling student who sued Augusta State University for expelling her because her beliefs went against ethical guidelines for being a school counselor, had her lawsuit dismissed on all counts in federal court.

The ruling, by U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall on June 22, said Keeton had no claim to argue that the university was biased against because of her religious beliefs including homosexuality is immoral. As a graduate student in counseling who hoped to be a counselor in secondary schools, Keeton would have to follow the ethical guidelines of being a counselor that included not allowing personal beliefs interfere with judgment.

Hall's ruling upholds the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on a lower court case that also ruled Keeton's lawsuit was unfounded.

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Federal appeals court upholds expulsion of anti-gay Ga. college student

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court's ruling that an Augusta State University student should be expelled from the school's counseling program because her anti-gay beliefs went against the ethical guidelines for being a school counselor.

Jennifer Keeton, who describes herself as a Christian and was attending ASU to become a school counselor for grades K-12, sued the university after professors recommended she undertake a remediation plan as a way to teach her more about LGBT issues. The plan included attending workshops on LGBT issues as well as attending Augusta Pride.

Keeton is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to defending "traditional family values." In her lawsuit, Keeton claimed her First Amendment rights were violated by the university because it stated 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.

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Augusta grad student goes before federal appeals court over anti-gay beliefs

An Augusta State University counseling student is appearing before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today asking not to be expelled from the school because she believes homosexuality is a sin, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Jennifer Keeton, who is studying to be a school counselor for students in grades K-12, filed a lawsuit against the university on July 21, 2010, in the United States District Court Southern Division in Augusta, claiming that the school threatened to expel her because of her Christian belief that being gay or transgender is immoral.

Keeton is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to defending "traditional family values." In her lawsuit, Keeton claimed her First Amendment rights were violated by the university because it stated 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.

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Lambda Legal: Augusta counseling student could hurt LGBT youth

Augusta State University student Jennifer Keeton

Lambda Legal has filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing an Augusta State University graduate student’s claim that her constitutional rights were violated when the school threatened to expel her because of her Christian belief that being gay or transgender is immoral.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court Southern Division in Augusta, argues counseling graduate student Jennifer Keeton’s First Amendment rights were violated by the university because it stated 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.

Keeton, who wants to be a secondary school counselor, is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian organization dedicated to defending “traditional family values.”

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Ga. congressional candidate touts ties to anti-gay legal fund

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who represents Georgia's Fifth Congressional District, can fairly be described as a civil rights icon. A veteran of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Lewis is now an outspoken advocate for the rights of others, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

Perhaps that's why Fenn Little, the Republican who hopes to unseat the longterm Democratic congressman on Nov. 2, takes pains on his campaign website to also describe himself as a "civil rights attorney."

Unfortunately, it seems Little and Lewis wouldn't exactly agree on what that means.

Little's campaign tagline is "Faith. Freedoms. Fiscal Responsibility," and he cites his religious beliefs among the issues underlying his campaign.