The US Air Force has fired a high ranking commander and denied him a promotion to General because he declined to personally affirm a homosexual relationship.
Col Leland B.H. Bohannon is still currently listed as the commander of the Air Force Inspection Agency, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico [Update: No longer. Now the AFIA commander is listed as Col Mark Pye, backdated to July 2017]. As detailed in a report filed by his lawyers, last May one of Col Bohannon’s subordinates retired. One of the customary presentations at a retirement is a spouse appreciation certificate, given to the spouse of the retiring member. In this case, Col Bohannon’s subordinate was a homosexual.
Col Bohannon felt that he could not sign the certificate because it would affirm a relationship that was contrary to his religious beliefs. Instead, Col Bohannon Read more
Buried deep in the proposed Defense Department Budget for 2017 (PDF, 5MB) was a little noticed comment on discrimination in the US Army [emphasis added]:
The Army remains committed to ensuring the dignity and respect of Soldiers, civilians, and their families…The Army will provide every Soldier and civilian equal opportunities to rise to the level of their merit regardless of their gender, their race, or their self-identity.
Just what is a “self-identity”? Good question, since it isn’t defined in the budget nor apparently in a Defense Department policy, and it hasn’t appeared in any prior DoD budget. It’s also not a Federally-protected class. Given the context of current events, it seems likely it is intended as a reference to the Army’s foregone plan to repeal the ban on transgender troops, though the Army seemed to dispute anything unique about this year’s new budget wording: Read more
After a Navy commander’s attempt to discharge Chaplain Wes Modder was rebuffed by a Navy admiral, the Washington Times interviewed him on the follow-up. It also sought comment from two critics of religious freedom in the military: perpetually-offended atheist Jason Torpy, and frequent critic of military Christians, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein.
For his part, Torpy thought Modder should have gotten the boot, and he thinks the Navy’s reaction is “unclear”:
The Navy’s decision, he said, “leaves unclear whether it is acceptable for senior officers to use the Bible to justify belittling gay and women sailors.”
On the contrary, the “acceptability” of Torpy’s statement had nothing Read more
As noted at Military.com, the Air Force Equal Opportunity office at Joint Base Andrews dismissed the EO complaint from contractor Deborah Schoenfeld, the self-described Hindu-interested-in-Wicca (whose complaint was previously discussed):
The office on Oct. 27 dismissed her complaint, saying she filed too late and also because the individuals she claimed discriminated against her “are not Air Force employees.”
Schoenfeld disputes the filing deadline issue, but it appears to be moot if the subjects of the complaint weren’t even in the Air Force. Schoenfeld disputes that, too, saying Read more
Update: In a letter to the MRFF, Deborah Schoenfeld publicly confirmed she was a government contractor, which means the US military was not responsible for her hiring or firing, despite Mikey Weinstein’s implications to the contrary. Weinstein’s public excoriation of the military — as opposed to her actual former employer — appears to have been little more than a publicity stunt, using “witch” references for shock value and attention.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has come to the defense of Deborah Schoenfeld, a civilian dental technician at Fort Meade who claims she was fired after filing an Equal Opportunity complaint claiming religious discrimination:
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is representing a former Air Force contractor who says she was fired from a dental clinic at Fort Meade, Maryland, after complaining that her co-workers discriminated against her because she was Hindu. She claims they then accused her of being a witch.
In his public complaint, Weinstein says Read more
While most of the story regarding US Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder faded into the background with the news of his victory a few weeks ago, one media story included a quote from the Navy that seemed to indicate a bit of self-righteousness [emphasis added]:
A spokesperson for the Navy said the system in Modder’s case worked as it is supposed to, with an investigation following complaints lodged against Modder.
The Navy takes issues like this very seriously, said Lt. Jessica Anderson, public affairs officer and writer for the Chief of Naval Personnel in Arlington, Va.
“When there are allegations of misconduct like this, we investigate — as we did in this case,” Anderson said.
Part of Lt Anderson’s statement is actually fair: With some Read more
For the past six months, US Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder has been fighting for his career after his commander, CAPT Jon Fahs, requested he be “detached for cause” (PDF) and then defend why he should be retained in the Navy. The primary charge was he “failed to show tolerance and respect” when he made certain statements about sexuality.
Last week, the US Navy Personnel Command informed Captain Fahs that his request for Chaplain Modder to be Detached for Cause was denied, as was his request for Modder to “show cause” to remain in the Navy. Rear Admiral David F. Steindl wrote (PDF):
Your request for detachment for cause in the case of LCDR Modder…has been reviewed and is disapproved. I have found the evidence of substandard performance in this case does not meet the standard of gross negligence or complete disregard of duty… LCDR Modder will not be detached for cause.
In other words, the Admiral said CAPT Fahs was wrong.
To be “detached for cause” (DFC) in Read more
As previously discussed, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter officially announced that “sexual orientation” was being added to the DoD’s equal opportunity protected classes, a list that includes race and religion:
I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense has completed the process for updating its Military Equal Opportunity policy to include sexual orientation – ensuring that the department, like the rest of the federal government, treats sexual-orientation-based discrimination the same way it treats discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, age, and national origin.
The video of his speech is available here.
In short, this means that if a person faces discrimination Read more