Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin maintained, “Drag queen story hour is not something the department funds.”
- Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questioned General Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during the House Armed Service Committee meeting, asking, “How much taxpayer money should go to fund drag queen story hours on military bases?”
- Secretary Austin responded, “Drag queen story hours is not something the department funds.”
- Gaetz explained that the department was “going to fund one at Ramstein Air Force Base. That one got canceled, but that’s DoD insignia. That’s a drag queen story hour for children.”
- “Then also at Mount Strim Air Force Base, outside of Great Falls Montana, you had a drag queen story hour for kids. At the Joint Base Langley Eustis, you put on a drag queen story hour on a Saturday for the first-ever kid-friendly diversity equity inclusion summer festival,” Gaetz continued. “And at Nellis Air Force Base, you had the ‘Drag-u-Nellis’ on June 17, who funded these things, Mr. Secretary?”
- Secretary Austin held his assertion that drag shows are “not something the Department of Defense supports or funds.”
- Gaetz then asked the defense secretary why drag shows are held on military bases if “hosting a drag queen story hour on military bases is not supporting a drag queen story hour?”
GENERAL MILLEY TO LOOK INTO MILITARY BASE DRAG SHOWS:
- Addressing Milley, Gaetz listed instances of the U.S. military’s defense of drag shows, prompting General Milley to request copies of the articles.
- “Can I get copies of those, because I’d like to take a look at those myself, actually. Take a look and find out what actually is going on there because that’s the first I’m hearing about that kind of stuff,” General Milley said.
- “I don’t read those news stories. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’d like to take a look at those because I don’t agree with those. I think those things shouldn’t be happening,” the general continued.
- Gaetz thanked the general for his admission.
- One of the drag queen story hours referenced by Gaetz was canceled after Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall imploring him to cancel what the congressman called a “public-funded propaganda.”
- The event was to be held at the Ramstein U.S. Air Force Base in Germany.
- “I urge you to immediately cancel this politically divisive event, and take appropriate disciplinary action against all involved in allowing this gross abuse of taxpayer funding to place children in a sexualized environment,” Rubio wrote.
- The initial Facebook announcement for the June 2022 event read, “We’re celebrating Pride Month at the Ramstein Library with Drag Queen Storytime! Join us with special guest reader Stacey Teed! Be sure to wear your brightest and most colorful outfits!”