The U.S. Army dropped its investigation Aug. 24 against Southern Baptist chaplain Maj. Jerry Scott Squires, a Southern Baptist chaplain, exonerating him of all charges.
Squires, who had been charged with discrimination against a lesbian soldier who wanted to attend a marriage retreat, handled the situation in accordance with military policy and followed the guidelines of his denominational endorsing agency, the Army determined.
Squires had been charged with unlawful discrimination and dereliction of duty, and he could have faced confinement in a military prison.
Praised as ‘victory’ for free exercise of religion
“This is great news for both Chaplain Squires and all of the military chaplains who are serving our men and women in the U.S. Armed Services,” said Gen. Douglas Carver, executive director of chaplaincy at the North American Mission Board.
“It is a significant victory for all who support and defend the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, especially regarding the freedom of religion.”
Carver thanked Squires’ commanding general “for having the moral courage to make the correct but difficult decision regarding the investigation into Chaplain Squires.”
In early 2018, Squires told a soldier that he could not perform a marriage retreat for the soldier and her same-sex partner, and Squires provided an alternative by rescheduling the event so another chaplain could conduct the retreat.
An investigating officer initially determined Squires had discriminated against the soldier and recommended he face disciplinary action.
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Source: Baptist Standard