The Air Force reversed its decision to punish a highly decorated colonel after he declined to sign a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for a retiring master sergeant’s same-sex spouse. Even though Col. Bohannan applied for a religious accommodation and asked a more senior officer to sign the certificate, he was grounded, suspended, and guaranteed that he’d never be promoted – all because of his beliefs on marriage.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced the new ruling in favor of the colonel and reinstated him. She said, “Col. Bohannon had the right to exercise his sincerely held religious beliefs and did not unlawfully discriminate…”
“However, we must remember that at every level of government there are bureaucrats who actively resist … efforts to preserve and protect religious freedom,” said First Liberty general counsel.
Not Good News for Military Chaplains:
Army Chaplain Scott Squires has been reprimanded and faces “career-ending punishment” because an Army investigator wrongly concluded he discriminated when he declined to facilitate a Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat that included same-sex couples. However, Chaplain Squires was actually following Department of Defense regulations.
These DOD regulations require that chaplains must be qualified to serve as military officers and be “endorsed” by a recognized religious organization since they not only represent the military, they also represent their faith group. The Southern Baptist Convention endorses Chaplain Squires who faithfully follows the tenets of his faith.
“The investigator concluded that I should be reprimanded for doing something I’m required to do under Army regulations and my endorsement rules,” explained Chaplain Squires.