A Christian graduate student in counseling has been expelled from the program because he declined to counsel gay couples.
Andrew Cash, who was pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling at Missouri State University (MSU) is suing the university for expelling him, according to The Daily Wire.
Cash was reportedly fulfilling his counseling hours with the Christian counseling organization, Springfield Marriage and Family Institute, which was approved by MSU. Another MSU student was also working with the Institute.
Cash had arranged for someone from the institute to speak to his class as part of a project. The visiting counselor ended up answering questions about counseling gay couples and also praying. Employees of the Springfield Marriage and Family Institute will pray with those who specifically request prayer. The Institute also refers gay couples to other counselors because of their religious beliefs.
After this incident, Cash was told that his hours working with the Institute would no longer count toward his degree. He was also forced to retake two classes. Eventually, he was told he had been expelled from the program entirely.
A statement issued by Cash’s lawyer, Thomas Olp, said:
"Traditionally, universities have been places for free exchange of ideas and values, both religious and secular. Unfortunately, Missouri State University departed from its mission by denying educational opportunity to Mr. Cash simply because he expressed, in an academic setting, sincerely-held religious beliefs which his advisor deemed hostile to her own and therefore unacceptable. An educator should not permit her own ideology and agenda to ruin the educational opportunities of her students. We feel the responsibility, on Mr. Cash’s behalf, to try to correct this.”
Publication date: April 27, 2016