A 27-year veteran of the Utah Air National Guard said he was reprimanded after he wrote a letter objecting to a gay wedding in the West Point chapel and was later told to prepare for retirement because his personal beliefs about homosexuality were not compatible with the military’s policies.
“The military is trying to make examples of people who have religious beliefs that homosexual conduct in the military is wrong,” said John Wells, an attorney representing TSgt. Layne Wilson. “The end game is to force conservative Christians out of the military.”
Last December Wilson wrote a letter to a person believed to be a chaplain at West Point. He stated his displeasure at news of a same-sex ceremony held in the Cadet Chapel.
“This is wrong on so many levels,” Wilson wrote. “If they wanted to get married in a hotel that is one thing. Our base chapels are a place of worship and this is a mockery to God and our military core values. I have proudly served 27 years and this is a slap in the face to us who have put our lives on the line for this country. I hope sir that you will take appropriate action so this does not happen again.”
Instead of responding to the private email, the Commandant of Cadets notified the Utah Air National Guard – leading to an accusation that he had brought disgrace and discredit upon the Air National Guard and his conduct was inconsistent with the United States Air Force.
The Air National Guard determined that Wilson’s email “failed to render the proper respect to a commissioned officer.”
“You are hereby reprimanded,” read a letter from Lt. Col. Kevin Tobias. “As a noncommissioned officer you are expected to maintain a standard of professional and personal behavior that is above reproach. You have failed!”
A public affairs officer with the Utah Air National Guard told Fox News they could not comment on pending litigation.
Ironically, Wells pointed out, the Defense of Marriage Act was still the law of the land and TSgt. Layne was simply reporting “what he believed was a violation of the law.”
In addition to his reprimand, the Air National Guard terminated a six-year reenlistment contract. Instead, they gave Layne a one-year extension.
“Due to the fact that I expressed my views on homosexuality in uniform; Lt. Col. Tobias stated that I was no longer compatible with further military service,” Wilson wrote in a letter detailing the discrimination allegations.
Tobias confirmed Wilson’s allegation in a memorandum dated June 19, 2013 and obtained by Fox News.