Court Lets Navy Chaplains Pursue Bias Complaint


WASHINGTON - Evangelical Protestant chaplains who claim the Navy discriminates against them have won a second chance to obtain a quick court order against practices they say favor mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic chaplains for promotion.

On Friday, a three-judge federal appeals court reversed a district judge's dismissal of the evangelicals' request for a preliminary injunction. They want the court to order the Navy to alter the composition of promotion panels and make their votes public, not secret.

The case was brought by Baptist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic chaplains who follow no formal liturgy in worship services and baptize at the "age of reason" instead of at infancy.

The lower court was ordered to conduct factual findings on whether they are likely to win and thus entitled to a preliminary court order.

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