News (USA)

Matt Gaetz gets Air Force to shut down drag event on military base

Rep. Matt Gaetz running away from the press conference as a woman asked if he's a pedophile
Rep. Matt Gaetz running away from the press conference as a woman asked if he's a pedophile Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

The Defense Department has canceled a drag show scheduled to kick off Pride Month at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, according to DoD officials.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has called on the Air Force to punish anyone associated with organizing the event.

According to NBC News, Gaetz sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley about the issue, which detailed the Nellis drag show and six other events on bases purportedly approved by military brass.

The Air Force says the Nellis drag shows and others have been put on ice.

“Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an Air Force official said.

Two years ago, Nellis AFB hosted a Pride Month drag show they called “Drag-u-Nellis.”

The DoD drag controversy started in March when Gaetz angrily questioned the two officials at a Congressional oversight hearing.

Gaetz claimed drag queen story hours were taking place on bases around the world, including in Montana, Virginia, Germany, and at Nellis in Nevada.

“Drag queen story hours is not something that the department funds,” Austin told committee members at the House Armed Services hearing on March 29.

Milley asked to see the flyers Gaetz was waving and said he was unaware of the drag events.

“I’d like to take a look at those, because I don’t agree with those,” Milley said. 

According to one DoD source, Milley was visibly angry when he learned about the Nellis event this week.

It was unclear if Gaetz’s demand for heads to roll would be carried out.

One source did confirm, “The Nellis commander informed the private organization that the drag event would have to be canceled or relocated to an off-base location.”

Deputy Press Secretary for Defense Sabrina Singh said in a statement, “Per DoD Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), certain criteria must be met for persons or organizations acting in non-Federal capacity to use DoD facilities and equipment.”

“As Secretary Austin has said, the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources.”  

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