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As ‘Pride Month’ ends, taxpayer spending on LGBT projects piles up

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As LGBT Pride Month ends, a close look at federal spending trends shows that the U.S. government is increasingly doling out billions of dollars for a range of LGBT-linked projects across education, the military, foreign aid and more.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, sent a letter to the Department of Defense last month giving the federal agency a July 15 deadline to report back every way that taxpayer dollars allocated for defense purposes are being used to “fund Pride Month activities.”

“It has come to our attention that the Department of Defense (DoD) will once again divert American families’ tax dollars away from advancing its mission to ‘deter war and ensure our nation’s security’ to the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) events during the month of June 2023,” Roy wrote in the letter.

Roy argues the funds could be better used elsewhere and that embracing politically divisive topics like this hurt recruitment.

“Expending vital resources on this type of political maneuvering, most apparent during the month of June, is inconsistent with the national security interests of the United States and is an inexcusable use of taxpayer dollars,” the letter said.

Pride Month is not the only time the DOD has used taxpayer dollars to support LGBT causes. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., raised similar concerns in March of this year.

Rubio pointed to a report released last year detailing how training materials, among other things, had embraced many progressive ideas around sexuality and gender.

The report points to one case where a slide presentation for the Air Force Academy is titled “Diversity & Inclusion: What it is, why we care, & what we can do.” That training warns cadets to avoid using gendered language, such as words like “mom” and “dad.”

“The United States military is the greatest fighting force in the world, but woke activists in the Biden Administration are undermining military readiness, cohesion, and purpose,” Rubio, R-Fla., told The Center Square.

A recent report from the DODComptroller shows $86.5 million for “dedicated diversity and inclusion activities.”

“The Department will lead with our values – building diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do,” the report said.

Roy pointed to media reports of several instances of taxpayer dollars used by the military apparatus for Pride Month purposes. He included reports that service members were flown around the U.S. for Pride events and pointed to “gender identity care” from the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Federal spending on these issues is only poised to grow. Biden released his proposed federal budget in March, requesting record funding levels for an array of LGBT projects.

As The Center Square previously reported, Biden’s 2024 budget proposal requested billions of dollars to push a progressive gender and sexuality agenda around the globe. The budget requests more funding for the gender and sexuality efforts than dozens of other spending items, including stopping fentanyl smuggling across the southern border.

Biden’s budget request for gender and sexuality around the world has more than doubled in the last two years. While Biden pledged to cut about $3 trillion from federal spending in other areas over the next decade, his budget increased gender and sexuality-based funding.

“The Administration remains steadfast in its commitment to invest in opportunities for women and girls and support the needs of marginalized communities, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex community,” the budget said. “Reflective of that commitment, the Budget requests more than $3 billion to advance gender equity and equality across a broad range of sectors.”

Foreign aid is largely interwoven with LGBT rights efforts via the United States Agency for International Development.

“USAID is committed to advancing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) people around the world and meaningfully including them in development programming,” the agency says on its website referring to “development programming,” otherwise known as the taxpayer-funded aid projects around the world.

The U.S. State Department, which has embassies around the world don rainbow flags, released its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan last fall.

Other agencies are involved as well. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a controversial decision to tie federal school lunch funding to whether schools comply with several LGBT mandates, such as allowing transgender athletes to compete against students not of their birth gender.

The Department of Justice is another major federal agency following this pattern. In one instance, the DOJ distributed $150,000 via a federal grant to “amplify the voices” of transgender people in New Orleans who are accusing the police of discrimination.

Researchers from Grant recipient Rutgers University pledged to find 25 subjects and “conduct narrative interviews” to document their experiences. The university-based the research on the assumption that police officers discriminate against LGBT people of color.

The DOJ funded the study in question in 2016 via the W.E.B. DuBois Program of Research on Race and Crime, a fund established to collect data on race and crime and was titled. The study was titled “Intersectional Subjection and Law Enforcement: Examining Perceptions Held by LGBTQ People of Color in New Orleans, LA.”

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