On October 25, 2004, the American Association of Marriage and FamilyTherapists (AAMFT) held a site visit for the purpose of reaccrediting the Purdue University Calumet (PUC) Master’s in Family Therapy Program. The AAMFT officials held a group meeting to discuss student concerns, but Mr. Ford remained silent at this meeting. He was afraid of inviting more retaliation if he spoke.
At the end of the meeting, AAMFT officials offered to hear other student concerns in a confidential setting. That evening, Mr. Ford accepted this offer and called Dr. Tom Smith, one of the evaluators. Mr. Ford explained all of the religious discrimination and retaliation he had experienced at the hands of the faculty. Dr. Smith simply advised him to remain silent so he could graduate without experiencing more trouble.In April 2005, Mr. Ford first requested that Professor Trepper write a letter of recommendation to accompany his applications to doctoral programs. In May 2005, Mr. Ford received an e-mail from his fellow student and former friend, Ms. Duffy-Greslo. Though she was contacting him on an unrelated matter, she decided to bring up his refusal to change his religious convictions at her demand.
On July 20, 2005, Mr. Ford met with Professor Wetchler to determine whether the faculty would write letters of recommendation on his behalf. Wetchler agreed to do so because Mr. Ford had “grown up.” But he could not answer for the others. Instead, Mr. Ford would have to approach them individually.
In October 2005, Mr. Ford met with Professor Wetchler to discuss his prospects for doctoral programs. At this time, Mr. Ford noted that his top choice was Brigham Young University. Wetchler strongly disapproved. Instead, he encouraged Mr. Ford to attend Kansas State University or Texas Tech University because those schools had LDS faculty members who agreed with the program’s beliefs concerning sex therapy for same sex couples.
Around the same time, Mr. Ford met with Professor Trepper to see if he would write a letter of recommendation, and he promised to write Mr. Ford a “strong” letter. Later in October 2005, several faculty members, including Professor Wetchler, intimated to Mr. Ford that he must be “gay” because he was not “pro-gay.”