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Missouri State University: No Gay Counseling, No Master's Degree


Missouri State University has settled a lawsuit after kicking out a student who would not counsel gays couples.

The university has agreed to pay $25,000 to Andrew Cash, who was removed from a master's degree counseling program in 2014.

The $25,000 is the estimated cost for Cash to obtain a master's degree at another university.

Cash said in his lawsuit that he was "targeted and punished for expressing his Christian worldview."

The settlement prevents Cash from seeking admission or employment at Missouri State and the university did not admit liability.

Cash said in his lawsuit that he was removed from the program in 2014 after he tried to complete his internship at the Springfield Marriage and Family Institute, a Christian-based counseling agency, and told a class he couldn't counsel gay couples. 

His internship coordinator, Kristi Perryman, told Cash his refusal to work with gay couples went against the American Counseling Association's code of ethics.

And he was told he could not continue his internship at the Springfield Marriage and Family Institute because of "ethical concerns," according to the lawsuit.

Cash was placed on a remediation plan and told that his internship hours at the institute would not count. In November 2014, he was removed from the master's program despite having a 3.81 GPA.

In 2006, the university paid about $27,000 to another student, Emily Brooker.

She said the school of social work violated her First Amendment rights when her beliefs prevented her from supporting same-sex adoption.

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