Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post is a personal reflection by Gary Wright, one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that sought to end Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage. The legal action was sponsored by Americans United and three other groups.
Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who clashed with his superiors over his fundamentalist views, has lost his legal battle to vacate his court martial and win back pay.
In November, the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., found that the Navy acted in accordance with the law after it disciplined Klingenschmitt in 2006 for appearing in uniform at a right-wing rally in Washington. He was later dismissed from the Navy.
Chief Petty Officer Martin Healey has received approval to become the Navy’s first atheist lay leader. Healey, who serves on the amphibious assault vessel USS Makin Island, completed lay leader training and received an endorsement from Paul Loebe of American Atheists in order to be considered for the role.
Advocates for diversity in the military hailed the decision.
On Friday I wrote about Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who has been trying to raise money and recruit supporters through a Religious Right Web site titled prayinjesusname.org.
Americans United and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) took issue with Klingenschmitt's site and his e-mail alerts that referred to him as "Chaplain Klingenschmitt" and showed him in a Navy uniform. We wrote to Navy officials, arguing that Klingenschmitt was attempting to mislead people, as he is a former chaplain.