Public attention drawn to an announced “drag queen reading session” for children of U.S. military personnel stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany has led to its cancellation. The 86th Airlift Wing had planned the event for the base library until an advertisement was reposted on social media, attracting widespread criticism. The event had been scheduled for Thursday in honor of the June observance of “Pride Month.”
LGBTQ activists have complained that the cancellation shows the military “disrespects” transgender people according to Stars and Sripes.
The wing provided a media statement indicating the advertisement of the drag queen event has been removed and the event will not be held. It went on to say that leaders serving at Ramstein “strive to foster a culture based on inclusion” where all political views, races, and sexual orientations are “treated with dignity and respect.”
Upon learning of the advertisement for the event Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote to Air Force commanders condemning the event. He told them that the last thing American parents serving in an overseas location with currently increased geopolitical tensions need is to be worried about their children being exposed to “sexually charged content” at a base library.
Rubio urged the immediate cancellation of the event and asked leaders to take appropriate disciplinary action against the persons who promoted such a “gross abuse of taxpayer funding to place children in a sexualized environment.”
Rubio pointed out that international military installations are intended to simultaneously provide the training, testing, and deployment needs of warfighters and create a safe and proper environment for those military parents and their children. He added that was the entire purpose behind including schools, libraries, and commissaries for the use of Americans serving the nation overseas.
He noted that service members often do not have many options available for their families off-base because of duty obligations and financial, language, and cultural barriers.
Rubio said that because of the limitations faced by service families, it is “completely insane” that Ramstein would allow on-base resources to be used for something as inappropriate as “Drag Queen Story Time.” He added that such events are unfortunately designed to “place young children in close proximity with adults who are intentionally and explicitly sexualized.”
The Florida Republican also demanded to know how much federal taxpayer money has already been spent on similar events and whether the Department of Defense under the leadership of the Biden administration approves of such activities at military installations.
The 86th Air Wing has said that it has now “established processes” for properly reviewing such activities for approval before they are authorized and advertised.