Several key U.S. Senators have united to defend the Air Force Colonel who was relieved of his command after refusing to forfeit his religious beliefs.
Signing a letter in support of the airman, Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Roy Blunt are just three of the legislators joining forces in the Senate to stop what they feel is unacceptable and damaging to the First Amendment—specifically the freedom of religion.
Colonel Leland Bohannon was asked to sign off on a routine handful of documents for a retiring sergeant. The practice includes a “certificate of appreciation” provided to the spouse which is customary, but not required.
Bohannon cited his religious beliefs and refused to sign the certificate to be given to the sergeant’s same-sex partner, and asked for religious exemption.
When this exemption never came, he worked to provide a workaround by having another officer sign the certificate. But that didn’t appease the couple.
Instead the retiring sergeant submitted an Equal Opportunity complaint against Bohannon and demanded he was guilty of discriminating based on sexual orientation.
Following the complaint, Colonel Bohannon was stripped of his post and relived of his command at the Kirtland Air Force Base located in New Mexico.
The Senators’ letter, dated for November 13th, seeks for Bohannon to be restored to his post.
“During your own confirmation process, you made it a point to acknowledge that, ‘Air Force commanders have a responsibility to ensure that the spiritual needs of all Airmen are met. We were highly encouraged by your answers and trusted that, when the time came, you would follow through. That time is now.”
The letter also went on to call for more formal training and guidance among Air Force leadership in regards to religious rights. Senators John Kennedy, Mike Lee, Roger Wicker, and James Lankford also signed the letter.
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