FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, explores how the Department of Defense (DoD) will spend tax dollars to promote diversity, justice, and inclusion (DEI) events during LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
In a letter sent Thursday to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Roy demanded that DoD hand over documents and information about any Pride Month celebration sponsored or supported by the military in June. His request comes after the Department of Defense shut down a “kid-friendly” drag show at a Nevada air force base that was scheduled for the first day of Pride Month.
“Our military is in a historic recruiting crisis. Our enemies around the world are laughing at us as they grow stronger and bolder every day. The purpose of the military is to defend America and its interests against those around the world who want us destroy — not to use taxpayer money to promote an awakened ideology,” Roy told Fox News Digital.
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Roy’s letter references a May 3 memo from Air Force DEI officials approving Pride compliance and enabling installation commanders to “plan and conduct appropriate activities in honor of Pride Month.” He claims that using taxpayers’ money to organize such activities diverts funds from the military’s mission to “deter war and ensure the security of our nation.”
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Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, sent a letter to the Department of Defense on Thursday demanding a list of military-sponsored Pride month events to be held in June. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
“DoD should focus exclusively on mission-critical activities that increase military readiness and lethality to deter and, if necessary, defeat our adversaries. Devoting vital resources to these types of political maneuvers, most evident during the month of June, is inconsistent with the national security interests of the United States and is an unforgivable use of taxpayers’ money,” his letter states.
“Furthermore, pressuring commanders to publicly demonstrate allegiance to this agenda will further erode unity within our ranks and public confidence in our force,” Roy writes.
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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Roy accuses DoD of promoting a “blatantly political agenda” for service members and demands that DoD hand over a list describing “every LGBTQ+ observational activity that any DoD service component (including Guard and Reserve) authorizes, approves or encourages during the month of June 2023.”
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Roy also seeks information from DoD about how supported Pride Month events promote military readiness or lethality, associated promotional materials or related written communications promoting Pride events, and an account of the money spent this month celebrating Pride.
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A flyer provided by the office of Rep. Chip Roy advertising 2023 Pride Month events at Robins Air Force Base in Houston County, Georgia (Representative Chip Roy)
“The American people deserve a bill from every dollar that DoD diverts from warfighting capabilities. Congress has the power of the purse for a reason, and we should be using it,” Roy told Fox News Digital.
DoD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
READ REP. CHIP ROY’S LETTER BELOW – APP USERS, CLICK HERE:
Roy’s letter comes after DoD canceled a “kid-friendly” drag show at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The cancellation came after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., “demanded answers” from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, the lawmaker said on Twitter.
On May 23, Gaetz wrote a letter to Milley and Austin demanding “immediate answers as to why these drag shows are still happening” despite their testimony in March that the Department of Defense did not support or approve such shows, he said.
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The two leaders said at the time that they were unaware that such events were still happening on military bases.
According to NBC News, the decision to cancel the event came directly from Austin and Milley, the latter of whom was visibly agitated when informed of the event.
For the past two years, including 2021 and 2022, a drag show has been hosted at Nellis Air Force Base every year.
Lawrence Richard of Fox News contributed to this report.
Chris Pandolfo is a writer for Fox News Digital. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ChrisCPandolfo.