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Air Force Academy: No legal basis to terminate former ex-gay therapist

Monday, December 23, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The U.S. Air Force Academy said Friday that the academy will not fire or transfer a research analyst who came under fire last month for his history of work with organizations that seek to change gays’ and lesbians’ sexual orientations.

U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In a written statement, Air Force Academy’s Superintendent Lt. General Michelle Johnson, said the academy reviewed the 2009 hiring of Dr. Mike Rosebush, an operations research analyst for its Center for Character and Leadership Development, and that officials had found no basis to remove him from his position.

The controversy erupted last month after a gay rights activist and blogger alleged that Rosebush could potentially utilize his position as a “Chief” of the academy’s counseling teams to influence or promote anti-gay animus at the academy, and called for his firing.

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.

But when contacted by LGBTQ Nation in November, Academy chief spokesperson David Cannon said that the issues raised, including Rosebush’s title and job description, were “substantially and factually inaccurate.”

“We have thoughtfully and carefully reviewed the conditions and circumstances surrounding Dr. Rosebush’s hire and subsequent transfer to the Center for Character and Leadership Development and validated compliance with Department of Defence hiring practices,” the Academy said, in a statement provided to LGBTQ Nation on Friday.

“We have found that at no time did Dr Rosebush’s personal beliefs influence any professional decision or action taken in his position at the Academy. Further, we found that there have been no complaints about his conduct or professionalism. Therefore, there is no legal basis for either his removal or transfer and Dr. Rosebush will be retained in his current position,” the statement concluded.

Michael L. Weinstein, founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), an organization that advocates for the separation of church and state in the U.S. Armed Forces, said Friday that his organization is not satisfied with the Academy’s response, and said the Academy is being “disingenuous” as to the “real world” impact having any anti-gay activist on staff.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. I respect the air force academy’s inclusive direction…especially since anti-gay views and treatment has been rebuffed by professionals for a long time

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 4:19am
  2. Key word is “former”. If that’s true then they are correct. Just need to be sure he’s not preaching that nonsense.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 5:32am
  3. Having spent a career in government, I can’t help wonder if this guy didn’t falsify his employment application by failing to mention his ex-gay activities, or by inaccurately describing them. That in itself is grounds for firing and I’ve seen it happen to too many federal employees who only made an innocent mistake on their applications. It’s the easiest way to fire a federal employee that management wants to get rid of. The problem is that the AFA has been taken over by right wing evangelicals who are trying to force their beliefs on every cadet, and this is just another part of that project. They aren’t going to police themselves. Time to burn down the entire academy and start over from scratch. It’s become totally corrupted.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 5:47am
  4. lets see. no legal reason. how about mind games and psychological horrors/terrors? Permanent psychological damage?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 7:00am
  5. So what doe he do now? Chaplin ?! OMG!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 9:41am
  6. Ex-gay my arse

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 11:07am
  7. I declare myself cured from being of African descent. Oh wait…

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 12:07pm
  8. No “legal basis?” How about just doing what is right?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 12:27pm
  9. Hmm,…I guess a history of smarmy, deceitful and ignorance based behavior isn’t grounds for termination with the Air Force Academy. I know a few politicians who will probably apply for a job there after 2014.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 1:02pm
  10. To believe homosexuality is an inclination that can be changed, is to believe that all heterosexuals have experienced that same homosexual inclination and changed.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 3:20pm
  11. I wonder if he had a leather couch and hand size decorations in his office…that would be kinky.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 6:28pm
  12. Spreading hate the Air Force way!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 6:29pm
  13. As a retired Air Force veteran I must say I’m ashamed of the academy!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 6:55pm
  14. how about a MORAL basis, Air Force?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 10:06pm
  15. Disagree. They do have reason.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 12:44am