Christian student sues college for trying to make her change anti-gay views

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A counselling student has filed a lawsuit against her college claiming that it tried to make her change her anti-gay beliefs.

Jennifer Keeton, a 24-year-old graduate student of Augusta State University, is a Christian and admits she told fellow students inside and outside classes that she believes homosexuality is immoral and a “lifestyle choice”.

She claims that the university told her she must change her beliefs or be expelled from the course.

Ms Keeton said in her lawsuit, which was filed on her behalf by the anti-gay Alliance Defence Fund (ADF), that she was told to attend diversity sensitivity courses, participate in Atlanta Pride and submit papers to her tutors monthly detailing how her views had changed.

The student, who wants to be a school counsellor, argues that this violated her First Amendment rights.

She claimed that despite her beliefs, she would still be able to counsel lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans patients.

Her lawyer, David French of the ADF, said: “A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform.”

Augusta State University has not yet been served with the lawsuit.

School officials declined to comment at this stage, said spokeswoman Kathy Schof, who added that the university does have anti-discrimination procedures.