Keeton's conflation of personal and professional values, or at least her difficulty in discerning the difference, appears to have been rooted in her opinion that the immorality of homosexual relations is a matter of objective and absolute moral truth. The policies which govern the ethical conduct of counselors, however, with their focus on client welfare and self-determination, make clear that the counselor's professional environs are not intended to be a crucible for counselors to test metaphysical or moral propositions. Plato's Academy or a seminary the Counselor Program is not; that Keeton's opinions were couched in absolute or ontological terms does not give her constitutional license to make it otherwise.The court also rejected Keeton's "compelled speech" claim, saying that when someone voluntarily chooses a profession, the person must comply with its rules and ethical requirements. Finally the court rejected Keetons's free exercise of religion, unconstitutional condition and equal protection challenges.
The court's decision was consistent with an earlier 11th Circuit decision in the case that refused to grant a preliminary injunction because plaintiff had not shown a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the merits. (See prior posting.) SPLC reports on the district court's latest decision.