A win in the culture war battle! Matt Lohmeier was the first to call attention to the Nellis AFB drag show on Twitter, which prompted the notice of many on Capitol Hill. Now the DOD is banning all drag shows on military bases.
The Department of Defense issued this statement:
“Per DoD Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), certain criteria must be met for persons or organizations acting in non-Federal capacity to use DoD facilities and equipment. As Secretary Austin has said, the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources.”
The no-age limit drag show scheduled at Nellis Air Force Base was then canceled:
“Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an Air Force official said when asked about the Nellis event.
US Senators and Representatives had opposed drag shows on military bases, which SECDEF Austin and C/JCS Gen. Milley denied was happening.
(NBC) At a House Armed Services Committee hearing on March 29, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., angrily questioned Austin and Milley about drag queen story hours on bases around the world, including in Montana, Nevada, Virginia and Germany.
“Drag queen story hours is not something that the department funds,” Austin told the committee.
Milley chimed in, asking to see the flyers for the events Gaetz was referring to and saying he was not aware of such events and does not support their being held on military bases. “I’d like to take a look at those, because I don’t agree with those,” Milley said.
The drag show at the officers club on Nellis AFB was apparently the last straw. News reports state:
When Milley was informed about the event this week, he was visibly angry about the decision to host the event on base, a U.S. official and a defense official said.
LTC Lohmeier sent word that the Nellis show was canceled per DOD:
Keep up the pressure! Drag shows mock real women and sexualize children. See a drag queen tell what these shows are really about.
Pentagon leaders cancel drag show at a Nevada Air Force base (NBC News, 31 MAY 23)
Defense Department leaders have stepped in to stop a drag show scheduled for Thursday at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, according to two defense officials and a U.S. official.
The show, which was in celebration of Pride Month, was approved by Air Force leaders, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told the Air Force it is not Pentagon policy to fund drag shows on bases and the show should be canceled or moved off base.
Drag shows and events on military bases have become a politically contentious issue in recent months, with conservative politicians and pundits arguing the military should not be spending taxpayer money on them. . . .
. . . “Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an Air Force official said when asked about the Nellis event.
“Per DoD Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), certain criteria must be met for persons or organizations acting in non-Federal capacity to use DoD facilities and equipment. As Secretary Austin has said, the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources,” deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement.
The Nellis drag show was scheduled for Thursday, but the base commander was informed in the past few days that it must either be canceled or moved off base, the officials said. . . . . (read more)
Pentagon cancels ‘family friendly’ drag show at Nevada Air Force base (New York Post, 31 MAY 23)
Defense Secretary Orders No Drag Shows on Military Bases After Political Furor (Military.com, 1 JUN 23)
A Defense Department-wide prohibition on drag shows on military bases has resulted in the cancellation of at least two events that were planned for Pride Month and previously approved by base officials, two defense officials confirmed to Military.com. Shows at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and Ramstein Air Base in Germany scheduled for this month were canceled, participants and defense officials confirmed. The two officials told Military.com the cancellations were part of a direction from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that drag shows, which have become a target of the political right, not be hosted on bases. . . .
Rep Gaetz gets Pride Month ‘family friendly’ drag show at Nevada Air Force base canceled (Fox News, 31 MAY 23)
One week after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., demanded answers from the Department of Defense about why a “child-friendly” drag show was being hosted at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, the show was abruptly canceled.
“HUGE VICTORY,” Gaetz wrote on Twitter. “Drag shows should not be taking place on military installations with taxpayer dollars PERIOD!”
A drag show initially scheduled for June 1 — in celebration of Pride Month — organized by the Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council, was canceled, the group confirmed on Facebook.
“The Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council is saddened to inform you that we are no longer able to host our annual Pride Month Drag Show on Nellis AFB.” The group said it “received notification that the DoD has directed Commanders not to host Drag events on military installations.”
The cancellation came after Gaetz “demanded answers” from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, the lawmaker highlighted on Twitter.
On May 23, Gaetz wrote a letter to Milley and Austin “demanding immediate answers on why these drag shows are still occurring” despite their testimony in March that the Defense Department did not support or endorse such shows, he said.
. . . . In the letter, Gaetz reminded Austin and Milley of their testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on March 29, where they expressed their disapproval of such performances.
“On March 29, 2023, during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the ‘FY24 Defense Budget Request,’ I questioned you about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs within the Department of Defense (DoD). I find it completely unacceptable that DoD is using taxpayer dollars to fund DEI programs that are divisive in nature. DoD resources should be used for mission-essential operations, not diverted toward initiatives that create cultural fissures within our service ranks,” Gaetz wrote in the letter dated May 23. . . . (read more)
Jim Banks Asks Pentagon to Ban All Drag Queen Shows on Military Bases (Breitbart, 1 JUN 23)
House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) and other lawmakers are demanding the Pentagon clarify its policy on drag queen shows, to include issuing guidance to prohibit them on all military installations, Breitbart News has learned.. . . .
. . . Banks, along with Gaetz and Rep. Mark Alford (R-TX), wrote Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday asking him for clarification on what happened and to issue formal guidance prohibiting drag shows on any Department Of Defense (DOD) installation or any location using DOD funds.
We write to you today in response to the May 31 NBC News report on the decision by Department of Defense (DOD) leadership to intervene in and cancel a previously scheduled drag show at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB).
As members of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Personnel, we are deeply concerned that the DOD’s focus on woke programs weakens and distracts our nation’s Armed Forces.
From appointing a drag queen as a ‘digital ambassador’ to mandating ‘pronoun’ training for service-members, the Department of Defense has sacrificed precious man hours and resources that should be dedicated to improving readiness and lethality – not advancing a divisive, far-left agenda.
While we commend your reported decision to cancel the drag show at Nellis AFB and wholeheartedly agree that ‘hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources,’ we request answers to the following questions by no later than June 15, 2023:
1. Has the drag show at Nellis AFB officially been cancelled?
2. Has the Department of Defense prohibited Nellis AFB from holding this drag show off-base using DOD funds?
3. Does the Department of Defense consider it a suitable use of DOD resources to hold drag shows in locations other than in federally funded facilities?
4. Will the Department of Defense commit to issuing guidance that drag shows are prohibited on any Department of Defense installations?
5. Will the Department of Defense commit to issuing guidance that no Department of Defense funds shall be used to hold or promote drag shows in any other locations?
6. At what level of the chain of command did the Nellis AFB drag show get approved? Has the DOD delegated approval authority for drag shows to all base Commanding Officers?
7. How has the Department of Defense allowed drag shows on military bases – events that, according to your own testimony and statements from your press spokesperson, conflict with DOD policy – to be scheduled on at least six other occasions?