Around the Institute: What’s Happening at First Liberty

March 15, 2024
Around the Institue | First Liberty Institute

A weekly roundup of exciting things happening at First Liberty.

Good News for Our Client Matthew McCarthy

We recently announced a win for our client, Matthew McCarthy, who serves with the Maine Air National Guard.

Nearly two-and-a-half years ago, Matthew’s command sent him a Letter of Reprimand that kept him from being promoted to the rank of Captain. Why? Because he, as a civilian, displayed the Appeal to Heaven Flag above the American Flag on his residential property in rural Maine.

First Liberty fought back, and that Letter of Reprimand was withdrawn earlier this year by the highest ranking officer in the Maine National Guard, Major General Douglas Farnham.

Today, we’re incredibly happy to report that the Maine Air National Guard is taking even further steps to correct the illegal actions that impacted Matthew’s military career.  He will now promote to the rank of Captain, which will be backdated to the date he was originally slated to promote—August 2023. We expect this will effectively allow Matthew to receive seven months of well-deserved back pay.

Matthew loves his career in the Maine Guard, and we were thrilled to learn about his recent participation as a team leader in a recent joint exercise between the Maine and Alaska Air National Guard. You can see him at work below:

First Liberty | Matthew McCarthy

Thank you for every donation you make to First Liberty. For Americans like Matthew, your gift is truly life changing. Your generous support has real impact. It means his name, career, retirement and reputation will remain intact. Because of you, this service member will get to keep doing what he does best.

Alito’s Prophetic Warning Fulfilled

First Liberty attorney Becky Dummermuth wrote an op-ed for TownHall discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v Hodges, in which Justice Samuel Alito warned about the dangerous impact this ruling would have on “Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct.” She writes:

“A current lawsuit against Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants’ union, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), provides another example of how after less than 10 years Justice Kennedy’s words about ‘decent and honorable’ religious beliefs have been forgotten and Justice Alito’s dire prophecy is being fulfilled.

Obergefell decided that same-sex couples have a right to marry, but it did not remove the right of others to hold or state a differing opinion. Respectful questions expressing deeply held religious convictions are legally protected in the workplace. Sadly, while Alaska Airlines claims to promote a culture of “open” dialog among all employees, its actions show that dialog is ‘closed’ when it is out of step with the airline’s current orthodoxy.

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