LGBTQ military organization responds to the Department of Defense ban on pride flags

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05: A view of pride rainbow flags outside the Stonewall Inn as Entertainment Weekly Celebrates Its Annual LGBTQ Issue at the Stonewall Inn on June 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)

The nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) military and veteran nonprofit organization is responding to the Department of Defense ban on certain flags at military installations.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper issued an order on flags displayed at military installations, stating that only the American flag, flags of the U.S. States, territories and D.C. along with military flags are allowed.

While this ban includes the controversial confederate flag, it also includes any LGBTQ flags.

“He went about it in a roundabout way that effectively bans the pride flag as well. The very symbol of inclusion and diversity,” said Jennifer Dane, Interim Executive Director of the Modern Military Association of America.

She says that by not outright banning the Confederate flag, the Pentagon is attacking the LGBTQ community.

“By banning the Pride flag, secretary Esper is essentially saying it is divisive and he is essentially telling thousands of LGBTQ service members and their families who have served this country that their very existence is divisive,” Dane said.

Dane said that if Esper does not change the policy, “then we urge Congress to take action immediately.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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