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Pentagon orders shut down of 'family-friendly' drag show on Nevada Air Force base with 'no minimum age requirement'

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartRadio/L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Pentagon ordered a Nevada Air Force base to cancel a drag queen show on government grounds just a day before it was set to take place, according to the New York Post.

Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas was directed to shut down the performance or move it off military grounds, despite the location being used to host previous drag shows.

The "family-friendly" event scheduled for June 1, 2023 — the beginning of "Pride Month" — was promoted as having "no minimum age requirement" with alcohol available to those over 21 years old. It was also labeled as a "free community drag showcase" featuring "RuPaul’s Drag Race" star CoCo Montrese.

“The DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources,” Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary, confirmed in an email to the New York Post.

“Per DoD Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), certain criteria must be met for persons or organizations acting in non-Federal capacity to use DoD facilities and equipment," Singh also said, according to NBC News.

Orders for the cancellation came directly from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, the outlet also reported, with Milley reportedly having become visibly angry when he was informed about the event just days before.

“The Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an alleged Air Force official told NBC News.

In April 2023, Rep. Matt Gaetz personally confronted Milley with documents and news clippings that showed "Drag Queen Story Hours" were occurring on United States military installations across the country.

The Nellis Air Force Base drag show was among those cited by Gaetz, who referred to a June 2021 story from Breitbart that described the base's "first-ever drag queen show at one of its on-base dining and entertainment clubs."

The general said he was "unaware" of any such events, according to Gaetz's office, but committed to ending the events on military property if the claims were true.

"That's the first I'm hearing about that kind of stuff. I don't read those news stories. I don't know what you're talking about. I'd like to take a look at those because I don't agree with those," Milley said at the time.

Gaetz celebrated the cancellation on his Twitter page and stated "HUGE VICTORY: The Department of Defense has CANCELED a scheduled 'child-friendly' drag show after I demanded answers from @SecDef Austin and General Milley! Drag shows should not be taking place on military installations with taxpayer dollars PERIOD!"

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