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Posts Tagged ‘Marcia Walden’

US sides with CDC, upholds firing of Christian counselor

Marcia Walden

Marcia Walden, pictured above, was fired from the CDC after refusing to counsel about same-sex relationship

Yesterday, the federal appeals court in Atlanta turned down a former employee’s claim that her religious rights were violated when she was fired from her counseling job at a federal agency for refusing to advise a woman in a same-sex relationship.

The court said it accepted Marcia Walden’s sincerity that her devout Christian beliefs prohibited her from counseling clients in same-sex relationships, however, they do believe that she could have handled the situation in a better manner.

The dispute began in 2007 when a woman came to Walden for advice involving a same-sex relationship. Walden told the woman she couldn’t help because her “personal values” as a devout Christian prevented her from offering her assistance. The woman then complained to administrators.

The company, which CDC had contracted to provide counseling services, believed that Walden could have handled the situation better by not disclosing her personal beliefs but by referring the woman to another counselor. The appellate court agreed.

Attorneys for Walden, who was represented by conservative religious rights organization Alliance Defense Fund, argues that she was discriminated against based on her religious beliefs.

Walden’s attorneys said they were disappointed in the ruling and determining whether to appeal.

According to senior counsel Byron Babione, “A counselor who is a Christian shouldn’t lose her job for upholding the highest professional standards.”