Ex student counselor sues university which kicked him out for excluding gay couples
A former student is suing Missouri State University for kicking him out after he said he would not provide counselling to gay people.
Andrew Cash alleges that he was removed from a counselling master program at the university in 2014, after he said to a professor in 2011 that he would not provide the service to gay couples.
He had started the program back in 2007.
The lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Society, based in Chicago.
Cash is suing the board of governors of the university, and school officials.
Speaking to Associated Press on Friday, a spokeswoman for Missouri State said the university “strictly prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion or any other protected class.”
The spokeswoman said she could not comment on the lawsuit as the university had not seen it.
The lawsuit alleges that Cash said he would not counsel gay couples, but that he would provide the service to gay individuals.
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He said he planned to refer same-sex couples to a colleague.
After being questioned about his views on gay couples, Cash says he was told by the internship coordinator that his attitude to gay couples was counter to the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association.
The internship was cancelled, alleges Cash, who says he “was targeted and punished for expressing his Christian worldview regarding a hypothetical situation concerning whether he would provide counseling services to a gay/homosexual couple.”
He also said he was kicked out because he “did not give the ‘correct’ answer required by his counseling instructors, he was considered unsuitable for counseling and terminated from the program.”
The lawsuit says that Cash has an “approach to counseling [which] is centered on his core beliefs, values and Christian worldview and these would not be congruent with the likely values and needs of a gay couple.”