March 2017 – Air Force Colonel Punished for | First Liberty


March 2017 – Air Force Colonel Punished for his Religious Beliefs About Sexuality

Press conference at 2:00 pm CT at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio

March 29, 2017

WHAT: Colonel Michael Madrid is a decorated Air Force veteran who has served in the military for 26 years. In 2014, a service member undergoing a court-martial accused Col. Madrid of making derogatory comments about homosexuality. Col. Madrid denied the comments, submitted to an Air Force investigation, and was cleared of all charges. Two years later, Col. Madrid was stationed at Joint Base San Antonio and placed under a new commander, Maj. Gen. John E. McCoy, who reopened the investigation and arbitrarily decided Madrid was guilty. Maj. Gen. McCoy placed a Letter of Admonishment in Col. Madrid’s permanent record, which could end Col. Madrid’s career. First Liberty Institute – a national religious freedom law firm – says this is a violation of due process. Today, they will announce they have sent a demand letter to Col. Madrid’s commander, asking him to rescind Madrid’s punishment or face further legal action.

Read more and view legal documents at

 WHO: Colonel Michael Madrid, a decorated Air Force veteran, and Mike Berry, Senior Counsel and Director of Military Affairs for First Liberty Institute (Read Mike’s bio)

ON-SITE MEDIA CONTACT: Kassie Dulin, Chief Communications Officer for First Liberty Institute. Cell: 214-542-4334, Email: Backup: 972-941-4444. 

WHEN: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm CT 

WHERE: Travis Park, 311 E Travis St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Read more and view legal documents and photos at

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

Dear Coach Kennedy,

I would like to say thank you. Your dedication to your faith and your commitment to the positive education of our youth is truly admirable. I am deeply grateful for your military service and for taking a courageous stance in protecting religious liberty rights for teachers and administrators.

If our First Amendment protects a player’s right to kneel in protest, it certainly protects your right to kneel in prayer.

I was shocked to learn that Bremerton High School suspended you after denying your request to continue your wholesome practice of giving thanks after football games.

The Bremerton School District’s actions violate the law and send the wrong message to coaches, young people, our communities, and our nation — a message of hostility to religious freedom and intolerance toward personal religious expression.

Please know that you are not alone in this difficult time — I support you and First Liberty as you continue to fight for religious freedom! Our schools need more coaches like you, our country needs more citizens like you, and our world needs more people like you.