DOD Wants to Punish Enlisted Who Refuse COVID Vaccine — Service Members Are Fighting Back

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will allow HIV-positive service members to deploy but won’t allow healthy service members who submit requests for a religious accommodation for the COVID-19 vaccine to deploy.

How does that make sense? It doesn’t, and a group of service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces filed a lawsuit against the DOD for religious discrimination. In fact, members are still being added to the lawsuit. The military has punished or discharged those who ask for a religious accommodation to avoid taking a COVID-19 vaccine. From the group’s legal representation, Liberty Counsel:

In April 2021, the DOD revised its policies on so-called “transgender” service members. Despite the fact that such service members may undergo opposite sex hormones and life-altering surgery, under the Biden administration transgenders may serve openly and will not be discharged from the service.

Yet again, under the Biden administration, healthy service members who submit religious accommodation requests are being brought up for discharge and severe punishment.

Before the DOD changed its policies, HIV-positive civilians couldn’t enlist, and HIV-positive service members couldn’t be deployed overseas. But otherwise healthy service members who refuse the vaccine are punished.

“The Department of Defense’s discrimination on the basis of religion is blatant, and the agenda to purge our military of service members who have sincerely held religious beliefs against taking the COVID shots must end,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said. “These honorable and brave service members fight for our freedom. We will continue to fight for them.”

Navy Seal 1 v. Biden is in litigation. Liberty Counsel in May asked a federal court to deny DOD’s motion to dismiss the case. A court granted the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary injunction and rejected DOD’s request to set it aside. The case is complex, and a federal judge recently requested military plaintiffs who live in or are deployed to certain counties in Florida be added to the case.

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