Here Are The Republicans Who Helped Defeat A Measure To Defund Taxpayer-Funded Pride Events

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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Eighteen Republicans joined 213 Democrats in defeating an amendment that would defund Pride month celebrations sponsored by the state department Wednesday.

“None of the funds made available by this Act for the Department of Defense or the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute may be used to carry out the observance of Pride Month as specified in the Cultural Observances and Awareness Events List of the Department of Defense and authorized by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness,” the amendment, which was introduced by Republican Congressman Chip Roy, read.

President Joe Biden’s Department of State spent more than $20,000 on drag shows in Ecuador in 2022 and Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada planned to host an all-ages drag show in June 2023, but the Pentagon canceled the show at the last minute, calling it “not a suitable use” of funds. The show was planned despite assurances from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in March that drag shows are “not something that the Department of Defense supports or funds.” (RELATED: State Department Spokesman Ned Price: Giving Ukraine Billions Is ‘Foreign Policy For The Middle Class’)

GOP Reps. Ken Buck, Ken Calvert, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, John Curtis, Anthony D’Esposito, John Duarte, Brian Fitzpatrick, Andrew Garbarino, Tony Gonzales, David Joyce, Thomas Kean, Kevin Kiley, Nicholas LaLota, Mike Lawler, Nancy Mace, Marcus Molinaro, Jay Obernolte, Michelle Steel voted against the amendment.

Some Republicans told the Daily Caller they were worried that the amendment was too broad and would be used to trample on personal freedom.

“I don’t support using taxpayer dollars for drag shows. I voted against that in the NDAA earlier this year and will work to keep that prohibition in policy,” Rep. Molinaro told the Caller. “My position hasn’t changed and my only issue with this amendment was it was too broad and could be used to infringe on individual rights.”

“The amendment in question was too wide in scope, did not specifically mention ‘drag shows’ which I previously voted to defund on military installations as part of the NDAA, and unnecessarily singled out LGBT military service members during a period of time where we should be focusing on priorities like ending the ongoing border security crisis and funding our government,” Rep. D’Esposito told the Caller.

Other Republicans who spoke with the Caller said that their vote had to do with promoting an attitude of acceptance towards LGBT members of the armed forces.

“I am part of the Republican Party who wants to end wokeness, stop drag queen story hours in our schools and military, but at the same time acknowledge and accept gay people— some of whom are my family, friends, and who served alongside me in the military with honor and integrity,” Rep. LoLata said.

“Many LGBT Americans patriotically serve in our military, just like other groups of Americans,” Reagan McCarthy, Communications Director for Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “This amendment solely dealt with whether or not the DOD could observe Pride Month in the same manner as the DOD recognizes the contributions of various groups through other observances, like Women’s History Month, Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and National Hispanic Heritage Month.”