Army Chaplain Squires Cleared of all Charges

Squires had been charged with unlawful discrimination and dereliction of duty, and could have faced confinement in a military prison.

In early 2018, Squires told a soldier that he could not perform a marriage retreat for the soldier and the soldier’s same-sex partner, and Squires provided an alternative by rescheduling the event so that another chaplain could conduct the retreat. An Army investigating officer initially determined that Squires had discriminated against the soldier and recommended that Squires face disciplinary action.

 

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (BP) — The U.S. Army has dropped its investigation against Southern Baptist chaplain Jerry Scott Squires, fully exonerating the major of all charges today (Aug. 24).

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 authority, the Army said.

“This is great news for both Chaplain Squires and all of the military chaplains who are serving our men and women the U.S. Armed Services,” said Gen. Douglas Carver, executive director of chaplaincy at the North American Mission Board (NAMB). “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.”

Squires had been charged with unlawful discrimination and dereliction of duty, and could have faced confinement in a military prison.

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 the soldier’s same-sex partner, and Squires provided an alternative by rescheduling the event so that another chaplain could conduct the retreat.

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