As Pride month begins to kick off, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy has called on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to provide a full list of the department resources used to promote LGBTQ activities on military bases.
The request comes after the Department of the Air Force released a memo in early May stating it will commemorate the contributions of LGBTQ Americans and continue its efforts to “advance a respectful and inclusive culture.”
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.
In a letter sent Thursday, Roy instructed the Department of Defense to provide his office with:
- A list and brief description of every LGBTQ+ observance activity that each DoD service component (including Guard and Reserve) authorizes, approves, or encourages during the month of June 2023.
- A description of how each LGBTQ+ observance activity that each DoD service component (including Guard and Reserve) authorizes, approves, or encourages during the month of June 2023 advances military readiness or lethality.
- A copy of any promotional materials and/or written communication distributed to service members or DoD civilians to advertise each LGBTQ+ observance activity that each DoD service component (including Guard and Reserve) authorizes, approves, or encourages during the month of June 2023.
- The amount of appropriated or non-appropriated funds, as well as the total number and cost of military, civilian, and contractor work hours, that each DoD service components (including Guard and Reserve) requires to plan, host, promote, or otherwise carry out each LGBTQ+ observance activity.
Roy also argues the Department of Defense is funding political statements rather than using taxpayers’ money to advance military readiness.
“As our nation faces threats around the globe, the DoD should be solely focused on mission critical activities that advance military readiness and lethality to deter and, if necessary, to defeat our adversaries. Expending vital resources on this type of political maneuvering, most apparent during the month of June, is inconsistent with the national security interests of the United States and is an inexcusable use of taxpayer dollars,” Roy said. “Furthermore, pressuring commanders to publicly demonstrate their allegiance to this agenda will further erode the unity within our service ranks and the public’s confidence in our fighting force.”
Roy’s office asks that the DoD provide the requested information by July 14, saying that the American people deserve to know what the military is spending its money on.
“Despite plummeting recruitment numbers and pushback from Congress, DoD appears adamant about spending taxpayer dollars to impose this blatantly political agenda on our men and women in uniform,” Roy wrote. “We believe the American people deserve a full accounting of the resources that DoD expends on these contentious initiatives during the month of June.”