GOP senator ‘alarmed’ Pentagon canceled a drag queen event for kids but defended another

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., pressed the Pentagon on why a “Drag Story Time” was held for children at the Malmstrom Air Force base, but a similar event at a Nevada military site was canceled after reported “pressure from Defense Department leadership.” Daines expressed his concern over the drag story time at the Montana base library in a March letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. In an April 18 response, the Pentagon said ‘the Department of the Air Force leadership values an inclusive and supportive environment to enable Service members to focus on mission and being part of a high performing team.'” In a follow-up letter Tuesday, Daines told Austin he felt that “there was no indication in your department’s letter that the Pentagon disapproves of such activity.” “In fact, the letter could be construed as an endorsement of such action,” the senator and National Republican Senatorial Committee chair wrote in his June letter to Austin. “This further alarmed me and is the reason I sent a response asking for clarification and also introduced legislation to stop the DOD from using taxpayer funds or taxpayer-funded facilities from hosting drag queen performances.” PRIDE MONTH: LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HOST DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR EVENTS ACROSS COUNTRY Daines also reiterated his concern over the Montana event and called into question why it “was deemed appropriate” while the scheduled drag show at Nellis Air Force base “did not meet DoD standards for holding an event.”  DEMOCRATS TRY TO ‘LEAD BY CRISIS’: SEN. STEVE DAINES “Is precluding drag shows on military facilities now official Pentagon policy? If so, when was this decided since it contradicts your April 18, 2023, letter?” the senator wrote in his June letter. “The Malmstrom AFB event was deemed appropriate to be held on a military installation. In contrast, the Nellis AFB event did not meet DoD standards for holding an event at a DoD facility. What differences between the two events made one acceptable while the other was not?” Daines asked Austin. Daines, who is spearheading legislation to ban the DOD from using taxpayer dollars or taxpayer-funded facilities to host drag queen events and performances, called out the military’s involvement in “divisive political and ideologically-driven issues.” “The U.S. military’s active engagement in, and support for, divisive political and ideologically-driven issues weakens cohesion and morale and further degrades the recruitment and retention of the men and women serving our country in uniform,” the senator concluded. “In doing so, these policies undermine the core mission of our military and constitute poor judgment by supportive military leaders.” Austin has not yet responded to Daines’ inquiry regarding the official Pentagon policy on drag performances.
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