Group demands dismissal of ex-gay therapist from Air Force Academy staff

AP (File)

AP (File)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization that advocates for the separation of church and state in the U.S. Armed Forces, is demanding that the U.S. Air Force Academy terminate the employment of a former conversion therapy counselor and long-time proponent of the ex-gay movement.

The Albuquerque-based MRFF on Tuesday sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the U.S. Air Force Eric Fanning, to express its opposition to the continued employment of Dr. Mike Rosebush, who once served as a director for the now-defunct Exodus International, once the nation’s oldest and largest Christian ministry devoted to performing controversial gay-to-straight “reparative therapy.”

AP (File)

AP (File)

Rosebush is a former vice-president of Focus on the Family, one of the foremost anti-LGBT organizations in the country, has been a clinical member of NARTH (The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality), and claims that he himself has been “cured” of homosexuality.

In 2009, he co-authored of the handbook “Therapy for Unwanted Homosexual Attractions,” of which he collaborated with discredited researcher George Rekers, who in 2010 was caught vacationing with a male escort he met on, and NARTH founder Joseph Nicolosi.

“Rosebush has devoted his entire professional career to the bullying and harassment of the LGBTQ community, carried out under the highly dubious guise of ‘curing homosexuality,’ a sexual orientation that he likens to ‘addiction’ and disease,” said Michael L. Weinstein, Founder and President of the MRFF, in his letter to Fanning.

“Mike Rosebush has absolutely no place in the hallowed halls of our military service academies. Such casehardened proponents of old-school horrific bigotry and putrescent prejudice, if employed by the United States Air Force Academy, will no doubt use their positions to erode and denigrate the precious civil rights of airmen, cadets, faculty and staff,” he wrote.

David Cannon, chief spokesperson for the Air Force Academy, told LGBTQ Nation late Tuesday that Dr. Rosebush works as a Senior Operations Research Analyst for the Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development, and is responsible for writing and researching programs for the Center for use by its counselors, who in turn assist faculty, staff, and its core clients — the Academy’s 4,000 cadets.

Cannon said that Rosebush — who was hired at the Academy in 2009 and transferred to the Center for Character and Leadership Development in 2011 — has no direct contact with cadets in a capacity as a counselor.

But Weinstein, speaking with LGBTQ Nation Tuesday evening, called that response “utter and complete crap.”

“What a surprise, the Air Force Academy pathetically postures that the gay-hater Rosebush is somehow buried so far away in the Academy’s organizational structure that his World Class homophobia could not in any way possibly affect those young, impressionable 4,000 cadets,” said Weinstein.

“Speaking as an Honor Graduate of the Academy and the father of four kids who have also graduated from the Academy, let me be clear — that is absolutely utter and complete crap. And believe me, the Academy knows this well,” he said.

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“Trying to use the disingenuously specious argument that ‘oh, he can’t hurt anyone’ in his current ‘invisible’ position at the Academy is as blatantly absurd and ludicrous as trying to argue that you can hide four pounds of dog feces in a two pound wedding cake. Worse, it is cowardice of the lowest form,” added Weinstein.

Retired USAF Colonel Dr. Edith A. Disler, a board member of MRFF, noted in the letter to Fanning that the American Psychological Association (APA), in its “Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts,” has “taken great pains to underscore such “therapy” as merely the expression of prejudice and discrimination, with a basis in ignorance and the distortion or active disdain of scientific data.”

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