Christian Counselor Fired For Trying To Help Lesbian
Posted by Job on July 17, 2008
One day soon, headlines will say “JAILED” instead of “FIRED.” I wonder who will be still trying to evangelize and help homosexuals with the love of Jesus Christ and His message of freedom from all sins then? Then again, who am I kidding … most Christians aren’t lifting a finger to face public humiliation to help homosexuals NOW.
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A Christian counselor has been fired on directions from government officials for trying to help a lesbian by referring her to another adviser who was supportive of homosexual “marriage,” according to a lawsuit filed on her behalf.
The action has been brought by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Marcia Walden, who was fired from her position with a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta because her religious beliefs conflicted with the homosexual’s goal of rebuilding a same-sex relationship and she reassigned the client to another counselor.
“A woman shouldn’t lose her job for merely upholding the highest professional standards,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum. “It is unconstitutional to punish Walden for following her Christian faith, particularly when she made every effort to accommodate the needs of a potential client. Referring her to another competent counselor instead of attempting to offer her own counsel in such a situation was the ethical thing to do for the person seeking help. It’s egregious to be fired for honoring professional and ethical obligations.”
In August 2007, a woman working at the CDC sought help from Walden, a counselor at CSC which operated a counseling service under the federal agency’s employee assistance program, regarding a same-sex relationship.
“Walden explained that the client’s needs would conflict with her religious beliefs and that, therefore, it would be unfair for her to serve as the woman’s counselor. As a result, Walden referred the individual to a colleague,” the law firm said. “After the meeting with the client, Walden’s colleague told her that she had done ‘the right thing’ by referring the woman to him.”
However, it apparently was not enough that her counseling needs were addressed, because the lesbian complained about Walden, alleging the Christian counselor was “homophobic.”
The lesbian, who was counseled by Walden’s colleague, Ken Cook, told Walden’s supervisor, Gordon Hughes, Walden should not be employed because of her beliefs and asked to file a formal complaint against her.
Walden explained the conflict between the woman’s desire for furthering a same-sex relationship and her Christian beliefs and that that was the reason for her referral. She confirmed she had counseled other individuals involved in same-sex relationships for various reasons without complications when their issues did not conflict with her religious principles.
“Following this incident, Ms. Walden endured religiously based questioning from her CSC supervisors including Mr. Hughes. Mr. Hughes asked Ms. Walden why she told [the lesbian employee] about her religiously based conflict; he told Ms. Walden that if a similar situation arose in the future, Ms. Walden should tell the client something else – for example, that she was not experienced in relationship counseling – instead of discussing her religiously based conflict,” the lawsuit said.
Walden responded that it would be inappropriate to misrepresent her conflicts.
The company told WND it would not comment on the case.
But Walden was placed on unpaid suspension on Aug. 24, and during that time Jacqueline Byrum, a CSC employee relations specialist, advised her to set aside her religious beliefs.
Then Zerbe, the CDC worker responsible for overseeing the employee assistance contract with CSC, demanded Walden be removed, and CSC then dismissed her, even before its investigation was finished.
The company said the results of its investigation didn’t matter.
Within weeks, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a “right to sue” letter to Walden based on her allegations the CSC discriminated against her because of her religious beliefs in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that Walden’s rights under the First and Fifth Amendments as will as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Civil Rights Act were violated, along with compensatory and punitive damages.