MRFF was informed by a client on May 31, 2016 that Lt. Gen. (Ret) Jerry Boykin was scheduled to speak at an upcoming prayer breakfast event to be held at Ft. Riley (Kansas). MRFF’s legal counsel immediately contacted Major General Wayne Grigsby, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, headquartered at Ft. Riley demanding immediate cancellation of this invitation to Boykin. The basis of MRFF’s demand stemmed from Boykin’s long history of well-documented, willfully ignorant, and offensive rhetoric against Jews, Muslims, President Obama, and the LGBT Community which was detailed by MRFF in direct communications to Maj. Gen. Grisby.
MRFF’s demand to cancel this speaking invitation clearly stated that:
Mr. Boykin is not fit to address the soldiers at Fort Riley. Fort Riley personnel need not be exposed to Mr. Boykin’s bigotry wrapped in prayer. Mr. Boykin’s message is destructive to unit cohesion, diversity and the values which our Armed Forces must represent in our nation and around the world.
On June 2, 2016, Evan Gahr of The Daily Caller reported that:
MRFF president Mikey Weinstein demanded that, “you [Maj. Gen. Grisby] immediately withdraw that invitation forthwith and pick another speaker who represents and exemplifies the Army Strong values of acceptance of diversity and maximization of unit cohesiveness. Boykin is the filthy antithesis of such critical Army values. He sows hatred and heinous divisiveness with his sickening screed of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, primacy, exclusivity and triumphalism.” And just in case the oblique language was confusing, Weinstein, speaking on behalf of 131 Ft. Riley clients, added, “Therefore, General Grigsby, MRFF demands that you rescind Boykin’s invitation accordingly.”
Within 24-hours Mr. Gahr reported the official explanation relayed by Ft. Riley public affairs officer Master Sgt. Mike Lavigne:
“We are aware of the concerns an organization has brought to light concerning the invitation of Lt. Gen. (Ret) Jerry Boykin to the Fort Riley prayer breakfast, which was originally scheduled for June 6” but “unfortunately, due to a number of scheduling conflicts” the breakfast is being “re-scheduled with a different speaker.”
Finally, Mr. Gahr reported:
In a brief interview Lavigne insisted the abrupt change in plans was purely a “scheduling issue” unrelated to Boykin’s views and explained that he was doing his caller “a solid” by clearing up any possible confusion. In response, Weinstein burst out laughing at the “bullshit” rationale and said Ft. Riley basically got caught with their pants down “inviting Ted Bundy to the League of Women Voters meeting.”
“He ain’t coming back!”