19-Year Air Force Veteran Phillip Monk Takes Action Against Military After Being Relieved Of His Duties For Voicing Religious Views On Marriage

Aug 19, 2013, 13:53 ET from Liberty Institute

Liberty Institute Holds Press Availability Featuring SMSgt. Monk Aug. 20 at 2 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Liberty Institute will hold a media availability to discuss the ongoing case of Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt) Phillip Monk, a 19-year veteran of the Air Force, who, based on his religious beliefs, disagreed with his commander that voicing a religious or moral objection to same-sex marriage is wrong. Subsequently, Monk was relieved of his duties and reassigned. Now, with the help of his attorneys, he will take action to protect his religious liberty and ensure that the Air Force does not threaten any adverse consequences to his career.

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WHO:   SMSgt. Monk, an evangelical Christian, who served as a First Sergeant at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio since 2011, recently returned from a deployment and discovered he had a new commander. After being dismissed and reassigned, Monk and his Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry, who is also an attorney in the Marine Corps Reserves, will discuss with the media their plan to seek redress by the Air Force.

WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 2 PM CT

WHERE: Village Parkway Baptist Church, 3002 Village Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78251

DETAILS: "I was relieved of my position because I don't agree with my commander's position on gay marriage," said Monk. "We've been told that if you publicly say that homosexuality is wrong, you are in violation of Air Force policy."  The commander also banned Monk from returning to the unit, and he had to request permission to retrieve some of his personal items.

Berry said, "Are we going to have a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy for Christians so we don't get harassed for our beliefs? Here's a guy who wants to have his religious liberty and serve in the military. He shouldn't have to believe in gay marriage in order to serve."

Air Force Instruction 1-1 states that commanders "must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion."

Liberty Institute is a national nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation's Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

SOURCE Liberty Institute