AMAC Exclusive – By Aaron Flanigan
While the ouster of Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is now dominating headlines, another storyline worth following in the aftermath of the government funding battle is the 18 Republican lawmakers who inexplicably sided with Democrats to continue allowing taxpayer-funded LGBTQ+ observances in the military like the drag shows and “drag queen story hour” events for kids.
During the debate over the Continuing Resolution that played a significant role in costing McCarthy his job, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced an amendment to “prohibit funds from being used to carry out the observance of Pride Month authorized by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness for the Cultural Observances and Awareness Events List.”
Although it is likely obvious to most Americans that taxpayer dollars should not be allocated towards “Pride Month” celebrations, as The Federalist reported last week, “18 Republicans, including House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., sided with Democrats in voting against the amendment”—ultimately killing the measure in a 231-202 vote.
The 18 Republicans who provided the necessary votes to reject the amendment are Representatives Buck (R-CO), Calvert (R-CA), Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Curtis (R-UT), D’Esposito (R-NY), Duarte (R-CA), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Garbarino (R-NY), Gonzalez (R-TX), Joyce (R-OH), Kean (R-NJ), Kiley (R-CA), LaLota (R-NY), Lawler (R-NY), Mace (R-SC), Molinaro (R-NY), Obernolte (R-CA), and Steel (R-CA).
Also worth noting is the fact that McCarthy made no discernible effort to push for the amendment’s inclusion in the final bill.
In the not-so-distant past, the mere thought of federal funds being used to actively promote LGBTQ+-themed events within the military—including drag shows for children—would have been not only laughable, but also immediately struck down by a bipartisan congressional majority. The present reality that nearly 10 percent of the House Republican delegation is intentionally enabling taxpayer-funded drag shows as part of U.S. military operations should thus be of grave concern to American voters who elected a Republican House majority to clamp down on precisely these kinds of left-wing legislative overreaches.
As The Federalist notes, the military’s support of the so-called “pride” agenda dates back to Barack Obama’s first term, during which the Pentagon held its first official “pride” event. Under Biden, however, this trend has accelerated substantially, with a series of executive orders mandating that federal agencies adhere to the left’s nefarious Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda.
Just this year, for instance, the U.S. Air Force authorized travel costs for servicemembers to attend “pride” events. According to a June 1 Air Force memo, Air and Space Force commanders were permitted to use “unit funds” to pay for members to “travel to, and participate in, this year’s [Department of the Air Force] Pride events if approved by their individual supervisory authority.”
Furthermore, earlier this year, the Air Force issued a memo that “empowers” Air Force officials to “plan and conduct” activities” related to “rainbow month”—including drag shows. That memo came shortly after the U.S. Navy brought on a “drag queen” as a “Navy Digital Ambassador.”
As Rep. Roy said in a House floor speech last week in support of his amendment, “I’m sure the Chinese military is quaking in its boots with the rainbow-tipped bullets being tweeted around the world.” He continued: “I have very few constituents who disagree with this sentiment: that we should be focused on having a military that is designed to, when called upon, to blow stuff up and kill people in defense of this country as needed, and to be the best fighting force to accomplish that objective in the world.”
As Roy and other conservative representatives have warned, the House’s decision to subsidize drag shows and bankroll the “rainbow agenda” poses a severe threat to American military readiness, especially at a time when several parts of the globe are descending into war and instability.
The vote on the amendment also may pose a serious threat to the re-election prospects of the 18 Republican members who chose to continue allowing American tax dollars to fund the left’s LGBTQ+ agenda in the military. Although some Republicans who voted against the bill claimed that it was “too broad,” that explanation is unlikely to sit well with conservative voters who elected these members to pass exactly this sort of legislation.
As aggression from foreign adversaries like China and Russia continues to escalate, a strong American military could very well be the last thing standing between international stability and global chaos. For the good of the United States—and of the safety of the world itself—every American citizen should hope that House Republicans can once again focus on winning wars and defending our national sovereignty rather than financing drag shows for children.
Aaron Flanigan is the pen name of a writer in Washington, D.C.