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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council commends Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson for overturning a punishment that was imposed on Col. Leland Bohannon after he sought a religious accommodation exempting him from having to sign a "certificate of spouse appreciation" for an airman in a same-sex marriage.
Last December, Family Research Council (FRC) and American Family Association (AFA) delivered a petition with 77,024 signatures to the Air Force Secretary in support of Colonel Leland Bohannon. The petition asked Secretary Wilson to fully reverse the complaint against Colonel Bohannon and remove any indication of it from his record. The letter signed by a coalition of 31 religious liberty advocacy groups also asks the Air Force Secretary to correct Air Force policy to ensure this does not happen again.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council's executive vice president, made the following comments after the Air Force restored Col. Bohannon’s career and religious freedom:
“For an Air Force Secretary to overrule an inspector general is quite rare and sends a message that the religious freedoms of service members will be respected and protected. This is another sign that the Obama era persecution of Christian servicemembers is on the decline, although we must and will remain vigilant.
“Like a lot of service members, Colonel Bohannon had reason to be encouraged when President Trump last May signed an executive order protecting religious freedom. But that same month, the colonel found out the hard way that not everyone in the military had gotten the memo. Instead of encouraging faith, Air Force officials were continuing the Obama policy of punishing it. Thankfully, Secretary Wilson has corrected this gross injustice and now service members can live out their faith openly without fear of being punished and driven out of the military.
“We applaud the Air Force Secretary for acting on President Trump’s pledge to move the military away from Obama era political correctness and advance policies that keep our military strong,” concluded Boykin.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins added:
“As most service members understand all too well, religious hostility in the military didn’t disappear when Barack Obama did. President Trump has had to walk a long and determined road to weed out the bureaucrats still loyal to the intolerance of the last administration. And thankfully, he has leaders like Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to help him do it,” concluded Perkins.
To read the letter signed by 31 religious liberty advocacy groups: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF17L15.pdf
Colonel Bohannon is legally represented by the First Liberty Institute which is dedicated to protecting religious liberty for all Americans.