Multiple military bases, including Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base and Germany's Ramstein Air Base are cancelling their anticipated Pride Month drag shows following a directive from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
This development came in the wake of heightened scrutiny and a legislative effort by GOP senators to prohibit such events on military installations, as reported by Fox News.
Senator Steve Daines of Montana spearheaded a bill stipulating that no Department of Defense resources or facilities could be used to host, advertise, or support "adult cabaret performances," a term encompassing topless, exotic, or impersonation dances appealing to prurient interest.
Daines emphasized the military's central mission:
Our military’s primary duty is to deter and win wars, ensuring our country's security and that of our allies. Turning the DOD into a platform for promoting radical gender ideologies through hosting drag queen shows risks our national security and is a blatant misuse of taxpayer funds.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz singled out the Nellis Air Force Base show, demanding the Defense Department explain why a "child-friendly" drag show was appropriate for the Nevada base.
Following a March testimony by Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, where both officials appeared nonplussed by Gaetz's inquiry about the shows, Gaetz issued a letter asking, "Why are these drag shows still occurring despite Austin and General Milley testifying they should not be happening?"
Responding to the developments, a DOD spokesperson clarified:
As Secretary Austin has stated, the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. These events in federally funded facilities are inconsistent with regulations on the use of DOD resources.
Echoing the DOD's stance, an Air Force official confirmed any forthcoming drag shows on its installations will be either cancelled or relocated off base, aligning with Austin's testimony. Commanders have received instructions to either call off these events or shift them to off-base locations.