FRC Joins 31 Military Religious Liberty Advocates On Letter Thanking Air Force Secretary for Standing Up for Col. Bohannon's Religious Liberty

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council, along with a coalition of 31 organizations and individuals, released a letter sent today to Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson thanking her 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 also asked the Air Force Secretary to correct Air Force policy to ensure this does not happen again. 

The letter reads: 

“We, representatives of the undersigned groups, are writing to express our thanks to you for your principled and courageous decision to uphold the right of Colonel Leland Bohannon to act in accordance with his sincerely-held religious beliefs. In December 2017, we wrote to you expressing our concern that Col. Bohannon’s religious freedoms were being unlawfully disregarded when he was harshly disciplined rather than being given the religious accommodation he requested.

“We take great comfort in your statement that ‘[t]he Air Force places a high value on the rights of its members to observe the tenets of their respective religions or to observe no religion at all.’ We fully agree with your observation later in the letter that ‘[t]he decision on appeal applied current Air Force policy and the law.’ Likewise, President Trump should be greatly praised for issuing an executive order in May 2017 intended to promote free speech and religious liberty across the government. 

“In closing, we wish to reiterate our appreciation for your willingness to remind the United States Air Force of the need to recognize the full scope of the law protecting the free exercise of service members’ religious freedoms,” the letter concludes.

To read the full letter, please see: