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Wednesday, April 4, 2018



MRFF Information/Contact: (505)-250-7727

(ABOVE: USAF Col. Leland Bohannon)


Colonel had religious right to refuse to sign same-sex spouse appreciation letter, Air Force says

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Air Force has affirmed the religious rights of a colonel who claimed he was wrongly disciplined for refusing to sign a certificate of appreciation for the same-sex spouse of one of his airmen last year.

The Air Force said that Col. Leland Bohannon "had the right to exercise his sincerely held religious beliefs and did not unlawfully discriminate when he declined to sign the certificate," according to a letter sent Monday by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to members of Congress who supported Bohannon.

"The Air Force has a duty to treat people fairly and without discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, or sexual orientation and (Bohannon) met that duty by having a more senior officer sign the certificate," Wilson said.


But the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group dedicated to upholding servicemembers' Constitutional right of religious freedom, condemned the Air Force decision for siding with "prejudice and bigotry."

"This is a poisonous distortion of the basic civil rights of members of the U.S. military," Mikey Weinstein said Tuesday, noting the Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage.

Weinstein said there is fear among the group's more than 1,000 LBGQT members that the decision might open "a Pandora's box" of civil rights' violations. If a certificate of appreciation could trigger Bohannon's "sincerely held religious beliefs, it's terrifying to imagine how far this will go," he said.

What if a commander didn't agree with interracial marriage or refused to sign a similar certificate unless the person could prove they were Christian, he said.

Noting that about 96 percent of his organization's more than 50,000 members identify as Christian, Weinstein said it's not a question of "Christian bashing," but of pushing back against "fundamentalist Christian exceptionalism and domination" that he said seems to be gaining traction in the Air Force since President Donald Trump's election.

Click to read more on Stars and Stripes


Air Force colonel’s career restored after same-sex marriage discrimination incident

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Air Force has ruled that one of its commanders had a right to exercise his religious beliefswhen he declined to sign a certificate of appreciation for the same-sex spouse of an airman under his command.

Col. Leland Bohannon, a Christian, had previously refused to sign a certificate of appreciation for the same-sex spouse of a retiring master sergeant in his command.

Last year, the Air Force ruled that the incident was discrimination, and passed Bohannon up for promotion to brigadier general.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and other lawmakers, sent a letter to Secretary of the Air ForceHeather Wilson in December, supporting Bohannon's bid for a religious accommodation in the case.


But Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group dedicated to upholding service members' Constitutional right of religious freedom, said the decision contradicts one of the Air Force's core values: "service before self."

"This is nothing more than an attempt to officially condone bigotry," Weinstein said. "This is an attempt to subordinate man's law to god's law. Everyone in the military takes an oath to protect the constitution, not the bible."

As evidence, Weinstein pointed to Air Force Instruction 1-1, sec. 2.12, which says that "leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion."

"They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief," according to the regulation.

Weinstein added that the AFI was backed up by the 1974 Supreme Court ruling in Parker v. Levy, which held that the need for discipline among service members allows for regulations and rules that are normally prohibited under the Constitution.

"In the military, there's a different compelling governmental interest," Weinstein said. "They want to maximize the lethality of the military in order to protect the civil rights of the rest of us. How you do that is by maximizing good order and cohesion in units."

Click to read more on Military Times
and Air Force Times

(1:51) Click to view ABC KOAT-TV's 10/27/17 interview with Mikey Weinstein re: USAF Col. Leland Bohannon's Religious Bigotry


Christian groups battle to save colonel's career

Thursday, December 8, 2017

The Family Research Council and the American Family Association on Wednesday delivered a petition to the Pentagon demanding that the Air Force reverse punitive measures taken against Col. Leland Bohannon, effectively ending the career of the highly decorated officer.


Click to read article

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We receive an enormous amount of emails at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, both from our supporters and detractors. Through "MRFF's Inbox", we share some of these emails with you.

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Easter All Inclusive

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Maybe we should make Easter all inclusive and tell about the Jews forcing the decision by the Romans.

(name withheld)

Click to read in MRFF's Inbox

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