Exclusive: Jim Banks Asks Pentagon to Ban All Drag Queen Shows on Military Bases

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., talks with reporters on the House steps of the Capitol on Thursday
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) and other lawmakers are demanding the Pentagon clarify its policy on drag queen shows, to include issuing guidance to prohibit them on all military installations, Breitbart News has learned.

Their request comes after a drag queen show was scheduled to take place today at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada but was canceled only after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) asked Pentagon leaders why it was happening despite them testifying in March they did not support them at military bases. NBC News reported Wednesday that Air Force leadership had approved the event.

Watch — “Who Funded These?”: Gaetz Grills Pentagon Chief on Drag Queen Story Hours, Shows at Military


Banks, along with Gaetz and Rep. Mark Alford (R-MO), wrote Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday asking him for clarification on what happened and to issue formal guidance prohibiting drag shows on any Department Of Defense (DOD) installation or any location using DOD funds.

They wrote:

We write to you today in response to the May 31 NBC News report on the decision by Department of Defense (DOD) leadership to intervene in and cancel a previously scheduled drag show at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB).

As members of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Personnel, we are deeply concerned that the DOD’s focus on woke programs weakens and distracts our nation’s Armed Forces. From appointing a drag queen as a ‘digital ambassador’ to mandating ‘pronoun’ training for service-members, the Department of Defense has sacrificed precious man hours and resources that should be dedicated to improving readiness and lethality – not advancing a divisive, far-left agenda.

While we commend your reported decision to cancel the drag show at Nellis AFB and wholeheartedly agree that ‘hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources,’ we request answers to the following questions by no later than June 15, 2023:

1. Has the drag show at Nellis AFB officially been cancelled?
2. Has the Department of Defense prohibited Nellis AFB from holding this drag show off-base using DOD funds?
3. Does the Department of Defense consider it a suitable use of DOD resources to hold drag shows in locations other than in federally funded facilities?
4. Will the Department of Defense commit to issuing guidance that drag shows are prohibited on any Department of Defense installations?
5. Will the Department of Defense commit to issuing guidance that no Department of Defense funds shall be used to hold or promote drag shows in any other locations?
6. At what level of the chain of command did the Nellis AFB drag show get approved? Has the DOD delegated approval authority for drag shows to all base Commanding Officers?
7. How has the Department of Defense allowed drag shows on military bases – events that, according to your own testimony and statements from your press spokesperson, conflict with DOD policy – to be scheduled on at least six other occasions?

Banks, also chairman of the Anti-Woke Caucus and a Navy veteran, has been a leading voice opposing wokeness in the military. In 2021, he famously grilled Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday on why he put How to Be an Antiracist —a book that called the military “racist” — by critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi on his recommended reading list for sailors.

Watch: Navy Chief Dodges Questions on Ibram Kendi’s Extremism After Recommending His Book to Sailors

U.S. House Armed Services Committee / YouTube

Earlier this year, he held a hearing on “diversity, equity, and inclusion” policies in the DOD and recently pressed the Navy for answers on its digital ambassador program that enlisted an active duty drag queen sailor named “Harpy Daniels” to help recruit sailors.

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