Friday, December 20, 2013

Politics & Policy

Air Force Academy review finds no fault with employment of ex-gay reparative therapist
By Brody Levesque | COLORADO SPRINGS -- The U. S. Air Force Academy Friday released the findings of its internal review over the hiring of controversial ex-gay reparative therapist Dr. Mike Rosebush.
In a written statement to LGBTQ Nation, The Air Force Academy's Superintendent, Lt. General Michelle Johnson, said that officials had found no basis to remove Rosebush from his position; 
"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.  
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 controversy erupted last month after a gay activist-blogger inaccurately reported that Rosebush could potentially utilize his position as a “Chief” for the Academy’s Center of Character and Leadership Development counseling teams to influence or promote anti-gay animus at the academy.
But when contacted by LGBTQ Nation, Academy chief spokesperson David Cannon said that the issues raised, including Rosebush’s title and job description, were “substantially and factually inaccurate.”
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.
As a result of the ensuing publicity, the Albuquerque-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization that advocates for the separation of church and state in the U.S. Armed Forces, demanded that the U.S. Air Force Academy terminate the employment in a letter to Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning.
“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.
Weinstein reiterated to LGBTQ Nation Friday, that his organization is still 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.
General Johnson also told LGBTQ Nation that in addition to reviewing Dr. Rosebush's hiring and performance during his tenure at the Air Force Academy, officials consulted with cadets, staff and others inside and outside the Academy's environs, for diverse perspectives and concerns.
"It is clear that we still have work to do in creating an Academy culture that respects the views of all and encourages diversity,"  Johnson said adding, 
"I have directed a series of panel discussions for our cadets, inviting thoughtful leaders and the best academics to help us create a better culture and climate transformation. 
We will continue to explore other initiatives that provide insight and solutions to the challenges we face," she said.