The state of Kentucky is doubling down on a decision to ban volunteer pastor counselors in its youth division from calling homosexuality “sinful,” as it is defined in the Bible.
In a statement sent Monday to WND, Stacy Floden of the state’s program services in the Department of Juvenile Justice said her agency “seeks to protect the rights of all youth in its care and custody regardless of sexual orientation or committing offense.”
“To this end, the department prohibits its staff and volunteers from discriminating against youth based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Floden said.
That means Christian pastors who have served as volunteers but cannot sign a statement assuring the state they will never refer to homosexuality as “sinful” are being dropped from the program.
The lawyers sent a letter to Bob Hayter, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, demanding that the state religious test be dropped and that a dismissed counselor be reinstated.
“Liberty Counsel writes regarding the blatantly unconstitutional revocation of volunteer prison minister status of ordained Christian minister David Wells, who has provided voluntary spiritual counseling and mentorship to juvenile inmates under the control of the Department of Juvenile Justice. … This revocation was issued by Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center on the basis of the April 4, 2014, DJJ Policy 912, which mandates full DJJ support of homosexuality and transvestism.
“With no evidence of any violation of DJJ policy on Mr. Wells’ part, his volunteer status was revoked by the Warren RJDC superintendent because he could not sign a state-mandated statement that homosexuality was not ‘sinful,’ among other things,” the letter said.
The policy states that DJJ staff, volunteers and others “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.”
Floden quoted several paragraphs from the state policy in response to WND’s request for comment.
“The language contained in the department’s volunteer form is taken from DJJ’s Policy 912, Section IV.G & H, incorporated by reference in 505 KAR 1:170.”
She said that includes “DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors, when working with juveniles under the care of DJJ, shall use respectful language and terminology that does not further stereotype the LGBTQI community.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/state-defends-firing-for-calling-homosexuality-sinful/#ABZIYFK8ikIozqgo.99