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Marriage Counselor Sues After Firing for Refusal to Treat Gay Couple

Gay Couple Therapy

The therapist has launched a federal lawsuit after refusing service to a gay couple due to her Catholic beliefs.

Michigan marriage counselor Kathleen Lorentzen met with a gay couple twice, then refused to work with them do to her Catholic faith. She's now suing her former employer, HealthSource Saginaw, which fired her for discriminating against LGBT clients, in federal court, the Detroit Free Press reports. She claims she was the true victim of discrimination because of her religious beliefs.

Lorentzen's lawsuit against her supervisors, Mark Kraynak and Mark Puckett, alleges they physically intimated her by closing a door on her and blocking her in a hallway after she requested that the gay couple be referred to a more accepting therapist.

Lorentzen claims that Kraynak was upset when she refused to work with a gay couple and questioned her decision at a meeting, encouraging her to be "a social worker first, and a Catholic second." Puckett later gave her notice she would be terminated from HealthSource in 30 days.

The suit also alleges that HealthSource informed her clients she was leaving the company, which caused "upset" and then interfered with her ability to counsel couples after she was fired.

Lorentzen is seeking a jury trial and unspecified amount in damages.

This case in line with the Trump administration's perspective that in the name of religious freedom doctors should be allowed to refuse to treat LGBT patients, not just as therapists, but even in emergency care.

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