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Eastern Michigan U. Settles Counseling Student’s Lawsuit for $75,000

The agreement settles a 2009 lawsuit filed by Julea Ward, a student who was dismissed from Eastern Michigan University’s graduate program in counseling after she asked to be excused from counseling a gay patient because of her Christian beliefs. The university said her refusal violated the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics. A federal judge dismissed Ms. Ward’s complaint in 2010, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit later reinstated the lawsuit after the case drew the attention of Michigan’s attorney general and state lawmakers.


“EMU has made the decision that is in the best interest of its students and the taxpayers of the state of Michigan to resolve the litigation rather than continue to spend money on a costly trial,” said Walter Kraft, EMU’s vice president for communications, in a written statement.

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