Monday, July 27, 2015

Suit Threatened Over Kentucky Juvenile Prison Rule Limiting Counselors' Statements About Homosexuality

Liberty Counsel is threatening a lawsuit against the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) over its policy that provides:
DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors, in the course of their work, shall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful, or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In its press release last Friday, Liberty Counsel indicated that it has sent a demand letter (full text) to DJJ insisting on the reinstatement of a counselor and mentor, Christian pastor David Wells, who apparently had his volunteer prison minister status revoked when he refused to sign a form promising to refrain from telling any juvenile inmates that homosexuality was sinful. The demand letter argues in part:
DJJ 912 violates the First Amendment by prescribing an official state religious “orthodoxy:” now, only a religious belief that homosexuality is not “sinful” may be expressed in DJJ facilities,