A UK judge has denied an appeal to a former Relate counsellor who refused to work with a gay man (as a sex therapist!) because of his beliefs.
Interestingly, the former Archbishop of Canterbury tried to get involved, going so far as to request that the case be heard by a panel of judges "who have a proven sensibility to religious issues" - in effect, a panel of judges who already agreed with him.
The judge shot that down pretty quickly and offered some thoughts about religious exceptionalism which are well worth reading; just thought I'd pass on this wonderful analysis from Heresy Corner.
When it comes to things like counseling, I have to say I kind of WANT them to be allowed to discriminate. Finding the right therapist is a tricky thing even with all involved having the best of intentions. I really can't imagine trying to go to a sex therapist who has strong disagreements with my own life choices, and expecting to get anything resembling helpful counseling.
We're not talking some cut & dry thing, like a pharmacist being required to fill a prescription supplied by an informed physician. There's a lot of gray area, and a lot of personal bias that's automatically included in the therapist/patient relationship.
I'd much rather it be clear up front, much like the signs the Catholic pregnancy crisis centers should display, indicating that they will never recommend or refer women to abortion providers. There's a lot of damage that can be done by a well meaning therapist who has moral views diametrically opposite to those of the patient.
You make a good point. My first instinct would be "if you don't want to work with homosexual people, get another job", but it's tricky. I still don't know completely where I stand on the idea of running a Catholic adoption agency or therapy centre, for example.