Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz confronted Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin on Wednesday over funding drag queen story hour on military bases.
The U.S. Air Force canceled a drag queen story hour event for children of service members at a library on Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany back in 2022 following pressure from Republicans. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called such events “inappropriate” and “extremely divisive” because “they place young children in close proximity with adults who are intentionally and explicitly sexualized.”
Gaetz put up a series of slides showing different drag queen story hours that have been hosted on military bases.
“I guess my question is how much taxpayer money should go to fund drag queen story hours on military bases?” Gaetz asked.
“Drag queen story hours is not something that the department funds,” Austin responded.
“Well wait a second,” Gaetz said. “That’s actually not what the record seems to suggest. You were going to fund one at Ramstein Air Force Base, but that one got cancelled, but that’s DOD insignia — thats a drag queen story hour for children. Then also at Maelstrom Air Force Base outside Montana you had a drag queen story hour for kids, at the Joint Base Langley Eustis you put on a drag queen story hour on a Saturday, for the’first ever kid friendly, diversity, equity, inclusion summer festival,’ and at Nellis Air Force Base you had the ‘Drag U-Nellis‘ on June 17th. Who funded these things?”
“Listen, drag shows are not something that the Department of Defense supports or funds,” Austin responded.
“But why are they happening on military bases, I just showed you the evidence.” (RELATED: REPORT: Drag Queen Who Simulated Sexual Act On A Bar Of Soap Sells Out Story Hour Put On By Children’s Bookstore)
“I will say again, this is not something we support or fund.”
“So you think hosting a drag queen story hour on a military base isn’t supporting the drag queen story hour?”
“I stand by what I just said,” Austin refuted.
Gaetz pressed Austin further before turning his question to General Mark Milley.