Bro. David Wells, of the Pleasant View Baptist Church in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, was told he could not longer offer youth counseling at the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Bowling Green unless he signed an agreement promising to refrain from telling any juvenile inmates that homosexuality is “sinful.”
Wells refused and had his counseling volunteer status revoked, leading the Liberty Counsel to send a very stern letter to Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Bob Hayter, saying muzzling Wells is a “restriction of his Constitutional right to free speech.”
According to DJJ Policy 912 IV(H) “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” volunteers: “[S]hall 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.”
Speaking up in defense of Wells, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver complained, “Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes. Pastor Wells must be able to discuss what the Bible says about matters of sexuality with the juveniles he is trying to help. To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands. Without it, they cannot provide healing.”
A religious freedom group, representing a Christian counselor who was banished from advising youth offenders after telling gay inmates that they are going to hell, is citing his “Constitutional right to free speech” in order to get him reinstated.