FORT HOOD, Texas, May 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of attorneys has come to the defense of a decorated U.S. Army chaplain who received a potential career-ending reprimand for stating his sincerely held convictions supporting the military’s ban of transgender individuals from the armed services.
First Liberty, which is dedicated “to defending religious liberty for all Americans,” is representing Chaplain Maj. Andrew Calvert, who was sanctioned by his superiors for comments on Facebook opposing the Biden administration’s intentions to revoke President Donald Trump’s ban on “transgendered” men and women serving in the military.
The chaplain objected to the anticipated government policy change. “How is rejecting reality (biology) not evidence that a person is mentally unfit (ill), and thus making that person unqualified to serve. There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth,’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary,” Calvert wrote in his comment, according to Army Times.
“The motivation is different, but the argument is the same. This person is a MedBoard for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!” he concluded.
Following an investigation, Calvert was issued a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR) on April 22 by Lieutenant General Robert P. White. Calvert is contesting the reprimand with the help of First Liberty.
In a May 12 letter of rebuttal sent to White, Calvert’s attorney, Michael Berry, expressed how his client wrote his comment “in accordance with his sincerely held religious beliefs” using his personal Facebook account that “disclaims all posts and opinions as his own, and not representative of the Department of Defense (DoD) or the U.S. Army.”
In reference to a previous correspondence, Berry summarized that such a reprimand over Calvert’s expression of “personal views on matters of public concern lacks any basis in law” and that such “retaliation for his expression of his sincerely held religious beliefs is unconstitutional, and violates DoD and U.S. Army regulations.”
Berry also pointed out that Calvert’s expression of his religious convictions and personal views “was, at the time he expressed it, wholly consistent with DoD policy,” since the Trump directive was still in place.
Further, the First Liberty attorney highlighted the hypocrisy evident at a lack of concern over an incident in 2019 when active duty members of the armed services, in uniform, marched in a political parade “to show opposition to the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender troops.”
“Clearly, if uniformed, active duty service members are permitted to express political opposition to their commander-in-chief’s policy, an active duty chaplain may express support for that same policy,” Berry wrote.
UPDATE (1/29/21) - On day one of the new administration, Biden signed an Executive Order dismantling girls sports, and allowing biological boys back into girls locker-rooms.
The order declares: "Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the rest room, the locker room, or school sports. . . . All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation."
This affront to reason effectively signals an end to girls' and women's sports, and diminishes their effort to compete on a level playing field.
Though this petition has already been delivered once, we will deliver new signatures to the US Dept of Education when restrictions permit, in honor of Selina Soule, who filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in 2019.
UPDATE (5/29/20) - US Dep’t of Education: Letting males compete in girls’ sports violates female athletes’ civil rights
UPDATE (2/13/20) - Selina Soule and two other Connecticut high school girl track athletes, Alanna Smith and Chelsea Mitchell, have sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) to stop boys who claim to be girls from competing in their sport.
Soule is the same high school girl who, last year, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). That complaint is still ongoing, as the OCR has not yet handed down its guidance ruling.
This also explains why this petition is still ongoing. Please SIGN and SHARE.
But, with another track season soon coming to an end, the girls' attorneys have asked the Court for an injunction that would stop the CIAC from implementing its current policy while the lawsuit proceeds.
Soule, Smith, and Mitchell will soon run in regional and state meets, competing for state championships. This year, they would like to have the opportunity to win, fair and square.
Please learn more about the latest news concerning this case, here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/three-girls-sue-state-to-stop-boys-who-say-theyre-girls-from-competing-in-their-sport
Then, please SIGN this petition. Thank you!
Selina Soule is a female athlete who now must compete against biological males because of Connecticut's policy requiring that boys who identify as girls be admitted into girls' sports competitions.
But, when boys compete in girls' sports, they win because they have a natural advantage. It's scientifically proven, and it's also common sense.
This crushes the motivation of the biological girls who have worked hard to compete on a level playing field, only to enter into competitions which they can never win, despite all of their efforts.
It also puts girls into harm's way in contact sports, AND it deprives female athletes of their right to fairly compete for college scholarships and other accolades.
This is wrong! And, that's why this URGENT petition supports Selina and all the other female athletes out there, who have put in the hours on the track or on the court.
Please SIGN this common sense petition supporting Selina Soule's complaint to the Dept of Education's Office for Civil Rights, against Connecticut's discriminatory policy.
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*Above photo credit: Michael Goodin / The Daily Signal
Chaplain Calvert has served in the military for 16 years and was deployed to combat zones three times, according to First Liberty. He is a highly decorated major who has “received the Bronze Star and three Meritorious Service Medals,” and enjoys the high esteem of multiple colleagues who have provided statements on his behalf.
Berry concluded his letter to White affirming that such adverse actions against Calvert are not only legally wrong but “morally wrong,” and he requested the Lieutenant General withdraw the GOMOR from his client’s record.
“Should you refuse to do so, we are prepared to take all necessary legal action to vindicate Chaplain Calvert’s rights,” he concluded.