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GOP rep stumps top military leaders with question on base drag shows: ‘First I’m hearing about that’

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley were seemingly stumped by questioning from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who questioned the top military leaders about drag shows on military bases, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. “I’d like to take a look at those myself and find out what actually is going on there because that’s the first I’m hearing about that kind of stuff,” Milley said in response to Gaetz Wednesday after the GOP lawmaker read several headlines about drag shows on military installations, according to “I’d like to take a look at those, because I don’t agree with those. I think those things shouldn’t be happening.” Drag shows on military installations, which promoters say are designed to show support for LGBTQ service members, have increasingly made headlines, most recently in the case of a planned “Drag Queen Storytime” that was scheduled at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, but canceled amid GOP criticism of the event. PENTAGON LEADERS DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT DRAG QUEEN STORY HOURS ON MILITARY BASES: MATT GAETZ A spokesperson for Milley later told that Milley does not support taxpayer-funded drag shows on military installations, thought most drag shows on military bases have been funded by private organizations. Meanwhile, Austin made clear that drag shows on bases do not receive Pentagon funding. “Drag queen story hours is not something that the department funds,” Austin said during the hearing. SERVICE MEMBERS SOUND ALARM AGAINST ‘EXTREMELY WOKE’ MILITARY Nicole Schwegman, a Defense Department spokeswoman, later clarified that Austin does not support the shows on military bases. “Just as Secretary Austin said during the House Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, the DOD does not fund or support drag queen shows or story hours,” Schwegman said. The first drag show on a military base likely took place in 2014 at Kadena Air Base, Japan, according to, while a Nellis Air Force Base spokesperson defended that Nevada installation’s hosting of a drag show in 2021. “Ensuring our ranks reflect and are inclusive of the American people is essential to the morale, cohesion and readiness of the military,” the spokesperson told Yahoo! News at the time. “Nellis Air Force Base is committed to providing and championing an environment that is characterized by equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.”

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