Posted 8:11 PM 3/5/2013 : New billboard calls out AFA
Posted 6:24 PM 3/5/2013 : New billboard calls out AFA
At 10-and-a-half feet wide and 36 feet long, a new billboard on Garden of the Gods Road - calling out the Air Force Academy - is hard to miss.
It was put up Monday morning. The purchaser - the Military Religious Freedom Foundation - anticipates 90,000 people will pass by it each week it's up; right now they're planning on 5 weeks.
So what does the billboard mean?
It all started with a list the Academy put out in February, noting up-coming religious holidays; it also included more information about the holidays. For the Jewish holidays - like the Fast of Esther - the Air Force provided a link for "www.JewFAQ.org".
"(The website) Has the very noxious perspective of homosexuality being equateable to kleptomania, and the fact that separate but equal is fine for women," says Mikey Weinstein; an AFA graduate himself, and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He says off all the resources they could have provided for information on the Jewish faith, he was upset the Academy chose this one.
"We gave the Academy an opportunity to take it down, which was the right thing to do; I wrote a letter to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force," said Weinstein.
As of News 5's interview with Weinstein Tuesday afternoon, the link to the site was still accessible through the Air Force Academy's website. By the time our story aired at 5 pm the link was taken down.
Just before our story aired at 5 pm we received a statement from the Air Force Academy; around 4:30 pm. Here's what it said:
The Fast of Esther was Feb. 21. The link in question was simply intended as a resource for our Airmen on this specific holiday--nothing more.
One of the main missions of the Academy is to ensure all members are treated with respect, fairness and equality. We respect, value and provide the ultimate care for all our members, regardless of gender, race, creed, color, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Since the Congress' repeal of DADT, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual military members have openly served with honor and distinction -- and we will continue to foster a climate that rewards our people for merit, not any other factor.
The Academy will continue to recruit the highest quality young men and women, to train and educate them to be future leaders of our Air Force and nation.
The Academy, like the Air Force and Department of Defense, has no room for those who refuse to treat others with respect and dignity.
"We're going to take to the streets and that includes putting up the billboard that we put up," said Weinstein.
The billboard is just the beginning; Weinstein and his group are planning a protest on Friday. It's scheduled to be at 11 am. They're meeting at the corner of N. Academy Blvd. and Voyager Parkway; in the IHOP parking lot.