Evangelical Christian Rev. Franklin Graham called upon President Donald Trump "to do something about" an Army chaplain, who is a Baptist, and who faces "serious punishment" because he refused to allow a lesbian couple to partisipate in one of his marriage retreats.
"Mr. President, I hope you will be able to do something about this," said Rev. Graham in an April 18 post on Facebook. "You are the commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces."
"Army Chaplain Scott Squires is being punished for doing his job," said Graham. "He’s facing serious punishment for explaining to a soldier that he couldn’t conduct a marriage retreat that would include same-sex couples--because of his belief in the biblical definition of marriage."
"A military investigation determined that he should be disciplined for not including this lesbian couple in his retreat," said the reverend.
"Now chaplains can’t have deeply held religious beliefs?" said Graham. "Now chaplains don’t have First Amendment rights? Now chaplains can’t stand on what God’s Word teaches?"
"This has gotten dangerously off-course," he said. "Let's encourage Chaplain Squires below and let him know that we are praying for him."
Chaplain Squires is endoresed by the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board, reported Fox News commentator Todd Starnes.
According to the convention's rules, "NAMB endorsed chaplains will not conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same sex couple, bless such a union or perform counseling in support of such a union, assist or support paid contractors or volunteers leading same-sex relational events, nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing.”
Also, attorneys with First Liberty Institute, which is representing Chaplain Squires, said that, Section 533(b) of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) states that the armed forces may not "require a chaplain to perform any rite, ritual, or ceremony that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain."
When Chaplain Squires realized that a same-sex couple wanted to participate in his marriage retreat, he explained they could not but he also sought to arrange a retreat for the couple with a chaplain who would allow their participation. However, this apparently was not acceptable to the lesbians and the pro-LGBT enforcers in the Army.