U.S. Air Force Suspends Colonel for Not Supporting Homosexuality

Source: District of the USA

Col. Leland Bohannon, seen here with his family. Photo: First Liberty Institute.

With homosexual activism, "progressive" states might first come to mind, but actually one of the United States’ greatest laboratories of social experimentation is its military.

U.S. Air Force Col. Leland B.H. Bohannon found out recently that although conservative and martial values of hierarchy and duty work well together, attracting conservative personalities to military careers, as creations entirely of the federal government, the United States armed forces are not conservative. A career officer with two decades of service including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, up for a promotion, as of October 19 the colonel was relieved of his command, his future uncertain, because a homosexual airman accused him of an insult.

Bohannon commanded the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. With his impressive service record including many medals, he was in line to be promoted to brigadier (one-star) general. However, the colonel didn’t sign a thank-you note to the right person.

The Background


The American armed forces have a custom, not a regulation, that when a senior enlisted person retires, the commanding officer signs and gives a certificate of appreciation to that person’s husband or wife. Because of an act then-President Barack Obama signed in 2011, changing longstanding military regulations to allow practicing homosexuals, a master sergeant in Bohannon’s unit claimed to be married to someone of the same sex. When the sergeant retired, the spousal-certificate custom became a conscience problem for the colonel, a devout Christian who believes same-sex marriage is impossible.

The incident and its aftermath


Bohannon consulted with his Command Chaplain and the Staff Judge Advocate, who advised him to get a religious exemption from the task, but when he asked, his general sent back his request unanswered. The Air Force Deputy Inspector General stepped in and signed the certificate for him, which should have solved the problem; a certificate from a two-star general seems an honor. However, the master sergeant found out his colonel did not sign the certificate, felt slighted, and complained to the Air Force. One of the service’s Equal Opportunity investigators decided Bohannon was guilty of unlawful discrimination.

“His career is likely over,” First Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry said of the colonel. “This sends a clear message — if you do not have the politically correct viewpoint, you are not welcome in the military.”

The legal issue


When someone joins the United States military, he or she voluntarily and temporarily gives up some constitutional rights in order to protect those of civilians. For example, one cannot be involved in political campaigns when in uniform, nor criticize the president, who is the military’s commander-in-chief. However, this case is a challenge to a right even servicepeople still have, the free exercise of their respective religions. While Catholicism believes that religious liberty is not an absolute good, traditional American law has given the church room to flourish. The country has taken a disturbing turn. The treatment of Leland Bohannon is disturbing for its blatant anti-Christianity.