As the U.S. Congress is considering its annual national defense spending, the United States Air Force sent out a memo recognizing the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month, sparking pushback from U.S. Rep. Chip Roy.

In the May 3 memo, the Department of the Air Force expressed that it will commemorate the contributions of LGBTQ Americans and continue its efforts to “advance a respectful and inclusive culture.”

“Our people are our strategic advantage. During Pride Month – and every month – the DAF will continue our efforts to remove barriers to service, while advancing a respectful and inclusive culture, so our team can apply their talents to their mission and stay focused on the defense of our Nation,” Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Alex Wagner and Diversity and Inclusion Director Marianne P. Malizia wrote in the memo. “Our Airmen, Guardians, and their families deserve no less than to work and thrive in an environment worthy of their service and sacrifice.”

The memo also encouraged installation commanders to plan and conduct activities to celebrate Pride Month. Roy’s office obtained a flyer advertising Pride Month events at the Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, where they promoted events like “Pride Night Game Night” and are planning to host a panel discussion.

After it was released, Roy blasted the memo saying that Republicans must drop their support for this year’s Department of Defense budget.

“What’s next, rainbow uniforms during pride month?” Roy told Fox News. “The Air Force and Defense Department sanctions this ridiculous use of taxpayer dollars and then expects members of Congress who represent Americans who are livid about this stuff to green light an $800 billion plus DOD budget.

Meanwhile, the House Armed Services Committee is considering the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024. The NDAA is legislation that Congress passes each year that outlines changes in defense policies and guidance on how the military should spend its funding. Last year’s NDAA amounted to $847 billion.

“If DOD doesn’t put a stop to these kinds of divisive – and frankly embarrassing – DOD events, Republicans should pull support for this year’s [National Defense Authorization Act],” said Roy.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.