A Christian US Air Force Colonel has been cleared after he was disciplined for taking a stand for traditional marriage.
Leland Bohannon was found guilty of unlawful discrimination by the Air Force after he refused to sign a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for the same-sex spouse of a retiring colleague.
Colonel Bohannon arranged for a higher ranking general to sign the document, but he did not want to give a personal endorsement of same-sex marriage.
He was initially punished, but after appealing against the Equal Opportunity (EO) investigator, the Air Force has now reversed the decision.
The Director of the Air Force Review Boards Agency ruled in favour of Colonel Bohannon, saying he has the right to exercise his sincerely held religious beliefs.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said: “The Air Force will ensure Colonel Bohannon’s records are corrected in accordance with the final agency decision.”
In November, eight US senators signed a letter to Wilson in support of Colonel Bohannon’s appeal.
It said: “Colonel Bohannon has suffered severely on account of the EO investigator’s mishandling of his religious liberty rights.”
The letter added: “The Air Force owes it to him to see that justice is restored, along with his good name.”
Commenting on the victory, Hiram Sasser of First Liberty Institute said: “We are very pleased that Secretary Wilson protected the religious liberty of Col. Bohannon.”
Sasser went on to say that First Liberty Institute will do whatever it can to support and protect religious freedom.
Colonel Bohannon has served in the Air Force for over 20 years and has earned numerous medals for his work.