- Category: LGBT Issues
- Published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 22:44
- Written by Lara Landis
- Hits: 462
Michigan referred the Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act to the state senate. LGBT groups have criticized the bill for allowing discrimination against LGBT individuals. Socially conservative groups have praised the act for allowing students to act based on their conscience and religious beliefs.
The bill allows psychology students, psychiatrists and social workers from treating LGBT patients if the treatment conflicts with their religious beliefs. The therapist or the student must refer the patient to someone else who is willing to provide services to the patient.
United States law already allows pharmacists to refuse prescribing birth control to patients, provided that there is someone else on duty who will fulfill the prescription. The proposed Michigan law follows similar restriction.
Julea Ward was expelled from Eastern Michigan University for refusing to sign a pledge saying she would treat Heterosexual and Homosexual people the same way. She was not allowed to finish her degree and took her case to the court system. Federal courts ruled that Eastern Michigan University had discriminated against her on the basis of her religious beliefs.