Say you are in the US Airforce. Say that your commanding officer, whose skin tone shows African ancestry, and you know is married to a caucasian, orders you to answer a question about whether people who object to interracial marriage are guilty of discrimination. You firmly believe that interracial marriage is wrong because of your religious beliefs. But your CO is asking you this question.
That is what Airman Monk claims happened to him because official Air Force policy supports interracial marriage. And this is from FOX news. Should he have gone on leave? Should he be punished for, in his heart of hearts, openly disagreeing with Airforce policy and thus, for some, creating a hostile work environment?
Oh, wait. Replace “interracial” with “gay.” There we go: “Airmen Punished for Opposing ‘Gay’ Marriage” with the sub-title, “Christians have to go into the closet.”
In my opinion, opinions are not for the military. You accept people, you don’t discriminate, and if you do, that harms readiness, that creates chinks in discipline (you think your CO is immoral, etc.), and I couldn’t care less about your religious beliefs.
Edited to Add (Sept. 6, 2013): An update to this story, the guy’s been Mirandized which is a strong indicator that he may have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Possibly by lying about this issue. I’ll have more updates if I ever see ’em.
Edited to Add (Sept. 7, 2013): WND has posted their follow-up with the same info I added yesterday (above paragraph).
Edited to Add (Sept. 10, 2013): Yeah, apparently the military is accusing him of lying about the incident, which is why he’s been Mirandized. And, Right Wing Watch has some more on it, including Bryan Fischer (of the American Family Association) spreading more lies about the incident.
Edited to Add (Oct. 8, 2013): Les Kinsolving wrote on WND, “Court-Martial the Christian or the Lesbian?” yesterday. As far as I can tell, there’s no new information here, just another rant.
Edited to Add (Oct. 21, 2013): WND continues to milk this with an unattributed article entitled, “Thought Police Get Military Man Fired.” As with the Oct. 8 update, as far as I can tell, there’s no new information here, just another rant. With that in mind, the article has been up for only 5 hours as of this update and it already has 222 ratings (4.73/5 average) and 210 comments; the top-rated comment is by “Nancy Freitag” who wrote: “This is so sad. These men and women fight for our rights to believe and say what we think, when they are pointedly asked what they think, they’re reprimanded for it. This is just sick. It’s coming down from the top. Obama hates the military and is doing his best to destroy it. Kill the moral and the military dies.”
Edited to Add (December 20, 2013): Based on a Right Wing Watch story, this was investigated by the Air Force and was found to be untrue (by Monk) and that he was transferred because he had already been scheduled to be transferred well before the non-incident didn’t take place.
Edited to Add (January 3, 2013): Right Wing Watch points out that not only does the right-wing refuse to let this now found-to-be-false story die, but they make new stuff up of even more persecution, now claiming:
… that Monk’s lesbian commander “read him his Miranda Rights … for not affirming homosexuality … For refusing to affirm openly homosexuality and gay marriage, she gets him demoted and gets him knocked off his post and they read him his Miranda Rights telling him that a criminal investigation is now under way.”