Senior leaders at the Pentagon declined to recognize LGBTQ Pride at the Defense Department for the first time since the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in 2011, and a group of Democrats is now demanding to know why.
CNN reports: “Concerned that Pentagon leadership is “backing away from supporting and celebrating” its LGBT military members, Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Maryland, and seven of his Democratic colleagues penned a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis asking him to explain the decision not to issue a memo. The group of Democrats is also demanding answers as to why Defense Department leadership declined to address the Pentagon’s annual Pride event.”
The Hill reports: ‘In their letter, the Democrats ask Mattis why the Pentagon’s Personnel and Readiness Office did not issue a memo for Pride Month and why no Pentagon leadership spoke during the Pride event. The lawmakers also zeroed in on Robert Wilkie, the undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness who has been nominated to become Veteran Affairs secretary. A Washington Post story this week described his history of defending his controversial bosses, including those who maligned gay people. Wilkie at his confirmation hearing this week said he would “absolutely” commit to serving all veterans regardless of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. In their letter, the Democrats asked Mattis what role, if any, Wilkie played in the decision to not recognize Pride Month.’
The letter was co-signed by Democratic Reps. Robert Brady (Pa.), Susan Davis (CA), Jackie Speier (CA), Beto O’Rourke (TX), Donald Norcross (NJ), Ruben Gallego (AZ.) and Salud Carbajal (CA).