Jennifer Keeton is a graduate student at Augusta State University in Georgia who, like millions of Christians across the country, holds a biblical belief about homosexuality. 

It’s because of this biblical worldview that Augusta State has offered Jennifer an ultimatum: reject your sincerely held religious beliefs or you will not receive your degree in counseling.

The university is demanding that Jennifer denounce her stance that homosexuality is morally wrong and that sexual behavior can be changed. The school is also trying to force Jennifer to attend “sensitivity training” and gay pride events.

Jennifer’s story is a prime example of the very serious threats to religious freedom that we are facing today. Our very rights to hold religious beliefs and live by them – or in other words, our rights of conscience – are being undermined.

Just imagine if you were told that you were not allowed to earn a living doing what you feel called to do because of your beliefs about homosexuality or marriage.

That’s essentially what Augusta State is doing to Jennifer, and it sets an extremely dangerous precedent. Public institutions should not be allowed to mandate that everyone buy into the same ideology.

In this case, Jennifer is fighting back. Earlier this week, with the help of our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund, Jennifer took her case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Read more about Jennifer’s case from the Arizona Republic.

Jennifer’s story strikes on two issues we’re focused on at Center for Arizona Policy.

  1. Free speech on campus: This year, the CAP-supported University Student Religious Liberty Act was signed into law which ensures that students on college campus cannot be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.
  2. Rights of conscience: In the upcoming legislative session, CAP will be supporting legislation to protect the rights of conscience of licensed professionals.
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