Billboard Stirs Up Controversy

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A billboard placed on a busy city street is stirring up a lot of controversy and it's calling out the Air Force Academy.

The sign on Garden of the Gods near Nevada says “Shame on the USAFA” and the founder of the group that paid to put it up said he wants action.

He told 11 News over the phone, he wants action from the Air Force after several cadets, faculty, and staff members were offended by something academy leaders sent out to everyone on base.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and founder Mikey Weinstein paid for the billboard. We talked to the Academy about it as well. According to spokesman there, every month they send out notices identifying various upcoming religious holidays, for all religions.

Until the beginning of this month, those notices contained links to more information about those religions. The MRFF is angry because the Air Force used a link to a Jewish website which had more information on the Jewish faith, but also contains some anti-gay remarks.

"People overreact; it's a link on a website I mean come on," one Colorado Springs resident said.

"If it was someone else saying it, then it's not (AFA) opinions then they can't really be held responsible," another added.

The Academy said the link was never sent with malicious intent. The MRFF plans to keep the billboard up for 5 weeks.

"I think anyone can be offended if they try hard enough," a Springs shopper told us.

"I think they should not cite that philosophy, the Academy," another responded.

The AFA has since made an effort to take down the link to the webpage, and this month did not include any links at all. Here is a written statement from the AFA: “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.”

The MRFF is planning to hold a rally against the Air Force Academy that will be held on Friday at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of Academy and Voyager. Here's a