A former Missouri State University graduate student claims he was kicked out of the program for refusing to counsel a gay couple due to his religious beliefs — and he’s taking his claim to court.
Andrew Cash started the master’s counseling program in 2007, and in 2011 he told a professor he wouldn’t counsel gay couples. By 2014, he was kicked out of the program.
The Kansas City Star has more (via AP):
The Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, filed the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Cash. The lawsuit in federal court in Springfield names the university’s board of governors and several school officials as defendants. It claims the university denied Cash’s rights to religion and free speech and seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages.
According to the lawsuit, W. K. Boyce, executive director of the Christian-based counseling center where Cash interned, made a presentation to one of Cash’s classes in 2011. In response to a question during that presentation, Boyce said he would counsel gay individuals separately but would refer gay couples to other counselors who did not share his religious beliefs.
About a week later, Cash’s internship coordinator questioned Cash about his own views on counseling gay couples, the lawsuit said. Cash said he also would counsel gay people individually but refer them to someone else for couple counseling.
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