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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, November 22, 2013

MRFF Contact: Bekki Miller
Tel. (337) 356-8696
[email protected]

MRFF to Post Third Billboard in Colorado Springs, This Time
Blasting "Gay Cure" Guru at
U.S. Air Force Academy

Above: billboard artwork that will be posted very early
next week in Colorado Springs, CO.

(ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO) Responding to United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) efforts to paint a "happy face" on the widely-reported environment of fundamentalist Christian religious oppression and homophobia, the six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF; http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org) has come out swinging by posting the third billboard at USAFA's doorstep in Colorado Springs, CO., within the span of little over a month. The billboard addresses the latest controversy at the scandal-ridden Academy, which has been embroiled in damage-control efforts resulting from its controversial employment of Dr. Mike Rosebush. An allegedly "ex-gay" fundamentalist Christian whose official title, according to the Air Force's own Global Address List, is "Chief, Coaching Development" at the Academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development, Rosebush has spent his life promoting and applying the universally-debunked and pseudoscientific treatment known as "reparative" or "conversion" therapy.

The latest billboard will be posted very early next week on a heavily trafficked thoroughfare in Colorado Springs. The graphic on the billboard depicts an arched rainbow, symbolizing LGBT pride, accompanied by the words "WE ASK. WE TELL. WE 'CURE!'" The arch then transforms into a straight line depicting the American Flag, with the slogan "U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY – GRADUATE STRAIGHT" above the flag.

In a November 19, 2013 open letter demanding Rosebush's immediate termination that was sent to Eric Fanning, the openly gay Acting Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, MRFF stated:

 

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. Rosebush is a former vice president of the rabidly fundamentalist Christian, Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, one of the foremost anti-gay organizations in the country. Additionally, Rosebush has also been a clinical member of NARTH (the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality). According to the promotional materials for his book "Sanctification Coaching," Rosebush is an "expert" on fighting "unwanted same-sex attractions" among Christian men "acting upon their homoerotic temptations." The man has gained fame and notoriety by taking insipid quack science to ever-lower depths of absurdity. Indeed, 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. Even Exodus International, the organization for which Rosebush served as Professional Counselors' Network director, has publicly apologized for the harm caused by the espousal of the patently false notion that homosexuals can be "cured."

On November 21, 2013, an Academy cadet client of MRFF (whose identity is being kept confidential for fear of reprisal) condemned USAFA's "self-serving" claims of providing a welcoming atmosphere for LGB cadets, staff, and faculty as a "crock" and an affront to the human dignity of LGB personnel. Countering USAFA leaders' claims, the anonymous MRFF client stated, "Those of us who are LGB live in the worst fear of being outed at any moment and suffering for it. Maybe Rosebush can magically make us all 'ungay'? Do you know how it makes us feel to know that our school has a man like that here? And how many other Rosebushes are here?"

The MRFF currently represents 435 USAFA cadet, staff, and faculty clients, 372 of whom are practicing Protestants and Roman Catholics. 27 of these clients identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

That same evening, the issue was addressed on national television by MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow, who asked "Why would a quack 'ex-gay therapist' with decades of experience doing that kind of quack 'ex-gay' therapy be hired to oversee anything, much less the mandatory counseling program for all U.S. Air Force Academy cadets?"

Maddow's guest in the approximately 13-minute segment was USAFA graduate and Rancho Mirage (CA) City Councilman Scott Hines, who underwent "conversion therapy" during his time at USAFA.

Explaining the circumstances of this "therapy," Hines said, "As is often the case, men who claim to be ex-gay are not ex-gay and my ex-gay therapist turned out to be not so ex-gay and became quite a predator… I've not talked to many people about this, Rachel, not my family, not others. It brings up a lot of emotions, and so you can imagine when I heard this week that a reparative therapist is heading these programs and put right in the middle of this … given my experiences and what I suspect are probably the experiences of these young cadets, it was just horrifying."

Maddow's story on USAFA also featured an image of MRFF Founder and President Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, as well as a reference to the foundation.

A litany of religious liberty violations at USAFA exposed by MRFF over the last decade have led to alleged "thorough investigations" by the U.S. Air Force and supposed continued efforts to establish a "religious sensitivity training regimen." As recently as mid-October, 2013, Mr. Weinstein met personally with USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson in her offices to inform her of several very recent unconstitutional religious civil rights violations affecting cadets, staff, and faculty at USAFA. However, Weinstein has subsequently decried the recently appointed Superintendent for her inability or unwillingness to challenge the deep-rooted Christian fundamentalist dominance existing at the Academy.


ATTENTION FEDERAL EMPLOYEES:

THE CAMPAIGN HAS NOW BEGUN!
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED NOW FOR US TO CONTINUE OUR FIGHT TO PROTECT
THE CONSTITUTIONALLY-ASSURED
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

Federal Employees can now contribute to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)!

CFC # 30187

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
AND WATCH A VIDEO ON MRFF'S CAMPAIGN

CFC is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with almost 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country and overseas raising millions of dollars each year!

Are you or a member of your family a federal employee?

MRFF is recognized as a charitable organization that is eligible to participate in the CFC. Now federal employees can support MRFF by designating their CFC donation for MRFF (CFC# 30187).

Click here to view a video on
how your CFC contributions work


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