Press Release: Defence to terminate commission of Christian officer
The Chief of Defence Force has written to me that he intends to terminate my commission in the Army Reserve. I have been given until 5 February, 2014, to respond.
I issued the following press release a short time ago.
Defence: Christian officer to have commission terminated
Bernard Gaynor faces termination of his Army Commission for objecting to Defence support of lewd, public displays of sexual behaviour and insults against Christianity. All images are taken from official 2013 Mardi Gras gallery, except the bottom image which can be found on the Flickr 2013 Mardi Gras feed.
The Australian Defence Force has moved a step closer to terminating the commission of Army Reserve Major, Bernard Gaynor, despite internal Defence investigations clearing him of allegations of unacceptable behaviour or that he failed to comply with military law.
- Defence document clearing Mr Gaynor of unacceptable behaviour
- Defence document clearing Mr Gaynor of breaching military law.
The Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley, has issued a Termination Notice to Mr Gaynor and gave him until 5 February, 2014 to respond.
Expressions of Christianity at odds with military service
Mr Gaynor says it is very clear that termination action is based on his strong Catholic beliefs and actions.
“The Chief of Defence Force has taken the Defence Force into uncharted waters over the last 12 months. There is conflict in Defence between Christians and the political lobby group called the Defence Force Gay and Lesbian Information Service. The Chief of Defence Force has shown that wherever that conflict exists, he will support the anti-Christian view, even to the point of removing officers,” Mr Gaynor said.
“General Hurley has already confirmed that the public expression of my Catholic beliefs as a normal Australian citizen is at odds with military service. In August last year he wrote that:
“I respect your religious beliefs and your right to have, and express, opinions contrary to ADF and Government policy. However your public articulation of these matters whilst a member of the Army Reserve, whether or not you are on duty, or in uniform, undermine my confidence in your ability to uphold the values of the Australian Army and your effectiveness as a leader in today’s Army.”
“Furthermore, in his recent Termination Notice, General Hurley wrote:
“I accept your submission that your statements are informed by your personal beliefs and your faith.”
“Obviously, General Hurley does not respect my religious beliefs if he will not allow me to express them, or if he believes it is unacceptable to state them.”
“However, Australian law prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on religious beliefs. Defence is not above the law.”
“Additionally, Defence’s own policy on religious practices states that all members are encouraged to pursue their own religious beliefs.”
Double standards on political activity of homosexual officers
“We now have a situation where homosexual Defence members may march in uniform at political rallies with self-described sexual ‘perverts’ in support of homosexual marriage, while Christian members cannot voice their opposition to the concept, even in a civilian capacity,” Mr Gaynor said.
- List of political and offensive sexual groups that Defence marched with in the 2013 Mardi Gras.
“This is despite Defence’s own policy on political expression, which confirms the right of all Defence members to provide political comment and participate in political events, provided they do not do so in uniform.”
- Defence policy on political activities.
- Defence policy on unacceptable behaviour forbidding sexually-explicit activity at Defence events.
- Mardi Gras constitution detailing its political objectives.
“Defence now allows homosexual members to campaign, as Defence members, for homosexual marriage and against Christian organisations. Defence will commend them from doing so. However, Christian members cannot speak in defence of Christian freedoms.”
- Defence Force Gay & Lesbian Information Service (DEFGLIS) Senate submission supporting homosexual marriage.
- DEFGLIS Parliamentary submission calling for removal of rights from Christian organisations.
- Report on Defence Force commendation for DEFGLIS Chairman, Squadron Leader Vince Chong.
“It has even reached the absurd point where the Defence Force Gay and Lesbian Information Service will launch racism complaints because intelligence officers call for a greater understanding of the Islamic religion.”
- DEFGLIS racism complaint against Mr Gaynor.
“Defence also forces its members to accept that transgender officers are female, when they themselves acknowledge that they are not. It is the most sexist and offensive slight on all females to pretend that a male is a female.”
“These officers are also protected, even when they are, unlike me, found to have breached Defence standards on unacceptable behaviour.”
- Interview with the highest ranking transgender officer in Defence in which he states that he is not a woman.
- Report that Lieutenant Colonel McGregor has been counselled for unacceptable behaviour in relation to Mr Gaynor.
- Full details of Lieutenant Colonel McGregor’s online abuse of Mr Gaynor and another Catholic writer.
- Extract from January Australian Women’s Weekly displaying Lieutenant Colonel McGregor in full dress military uniform and providing details as to whether Lieutenant Colonel McGregor will ever sit down to pee, have a self-lubricating vaginal cavity and in which he confirms it his belief that he is not a woman and will not change his birth certificate because it would be unfair to his parents. He refers to Mr Gaynor as an online bully.
“Finally, the Chief of Defence Force has personally allowed full-time homosexual officers to criticise Defence policy and the hierarchy in uniform. However, he will not even allow me to express my concerns as a private citizen.”
- Report that the Chief of Defence Force will not pursue disciplinary action against a homosexual officer who criticised Defence policy and hierarchy in uniform.
Strong community support for Mr Gaynor – calls for legal action
Mr Gaynor says that he has received strong support from the community and that legal action against Defence and particular officers is a likely outcome if his commission is terminated.
“Last year I was given no workplace guidance, no workplace duties and no workplace performance report. Nor was I allowed to participate in Defence activities. The only time Defence spoke to me was to say that my religious and political beliefs were wrong,” Mr Gaynor said.
“Defence would not even allow me to receive my Long Service Medal at my unit. They posted it to my home address where I received it today. It is an insult to my family that after 15 years of service, including three operational tours of Iraq and time in Afghanistan, my family has been denied any opportunity to see that service recognised.”
“There are many, many people within the community, including soldiers, who strongly urge legal action. They rightly see this as an attack on the rights of all Christians to express their beliefs about issues like homosexual marriage and government participation in the Mardi Gras.”
- Comments of support soldiers have given Mr Gaynor.
- Petition calling for Defence to retain Mr Gaynor’s commission.
“Considering that Defence’s own internal investigations have cleared me of breaching Defence law and its policy on unacceptable behaviour, there is a very strong case.”
“Furthermore, my actions have been based on upholding acceptable standards of behaviour. Those who oppose me are interested only in lowering the bar,” Mr Gaynor said.
Defence Chief links recruiting difficulties to Mr Gaynor
The Chief of Defence Force also wrote to Mr Gaynor in his Termination Notice that he was concerned his actions may impact Defence recruiting, stating:
“I do consider that your online behaviour while an ADF member has the capacity to affect recruitment and retention, and affect morale and discipline, because of the divisive and disrespectful nature of your comments regarding other serving members individually and as groups. I have given medium weight to this factor.”
Mr Gaynor says that it is absurd to claim that his statements may impact Defence recruiting, given Defence had publicly labelled his views offensive for the past 12 months.
“Defence stated 12 months ago that my views were ‘inappropriate’ and it has been widely reported that I faced disciplinary actions.”
- Public statement issued by Defence on Mr Gaynor’s comments regarding education of his children.
“If the public supported Defence on these issues, its actions against me would have been seen as positive and would have assisted with recruitment. However, the fact that the Chief of Defence Force has raised recruitment and retention clearly suggests the opposite has occurred.”
“Defence Force recruitment and retention is hurt by Defence’s recent focus on providing free sex-change operations, promotion of homosexuality and social experimentation with front line combat roles for women. It should come as no surprise that morale is at its lowest level since it has been measured.”
- Report on declining morale within Defence.
“And when Defence allows homosexual officers to march in a rally which included participants holding signs stating that ‘Jesus is Gay’, no one should be surprised that the largest segment of Australia’s society – Christians – are insulted and offended. I am not the disrespectful soldier. Those who march in the Mardi Gras have no respect for our society, its institutions or common decency.”
“Participation in the Mardi Gras is in breach of Defence’s own policies on unacceptable behaviour. Clearly, granting one group additional political rights based on the fact that they are homosexual and allowing them to insult Christians affects morale and discipline. It is impossible to have a disciplined force when homosexuals are given dispensations from Defence policy regarding unacceptable behaviour and discipline.”
“Soldiers want to be able to do their job without being subjected to ever increasing numbers of briefs about transgender rights, women’s recruitment into front-line combat roles and Defence’s extra-curricular preoccupation with homosexuality. These factors are a large reason morale within the military is declining.”
- Report on Defence-issued cufflinks and lapel pins with the rainbow symbol.
- 2013 Army Journal promoting homosexuality and Islamic recruitment.
“The biggest problem, however, is that soldiers face the sack if they express any concern about Islam. I face termination of my commission simply for writing that those who hold the same beliefs as the Taliban should not be allowed into Australia. It was the first piece of ‘evidence’ used against me by the Chief of Army.”
- Article from Bernard Gaynor Domestic betrayal a waste of soldiers’ sacrifices.
Chief of Defence Force praises Mr Gaynor’s military record
Mr Gaynor also said that it was ironic that the Chief of Defence Force was pursuing termination after finding that he was such a good officer in the Termination Notice.
“I do take some ironic joy in the Chief of Defence Force’s findings that I am a good officer. He wrote to me in the Termination Notice that:
“I accept that you have served in the Army since 1997 in both permanent and reserve capacities, have performed well on overseas deployments and at home and have been awarded the US Meritorious Service Medal. I have also considered additional factors that you have raised .In particular, I accept that:
– You are a competent officer in the Intelligence Corps and have particular skills in a language other than English (Arabic);
– You have been reported well as an Intelligence Officer and you are currently posted to the Defence Intelligence Training Centre as an Army Reserve Officer;
– You have interacted with male and female Defence members in a cordial and respectful manner in the workplace;
– You have not, previously to the matters disclosed in the Termination Notice, been subject to an ‘equity and diversity’ complaint in the ADF (comment: these complaints were found to be baseless);
-You have not disclosed ‘official information’ in contravention of extant Defence instructions;
– Disciplinary action against you on the basis of online material enclosed with the Termination Notice was discontinued by the Director of Military Prosecutions;
– An Inquiry Officer appointed under the Defence (Inquiry) Regulations 1985 did not find that your conduct was in breach of DI(G) PERS 35-3 Reporting and Management of Unacceptable Behaviour”.
Bernard Gaynor complained about Defence involvement in the Mardi Gras in April 2013. The detail of that complaint was not addressed and can be found here.