(The Hill) – An Air Force official said that troops who have LGBTQ+ members in their families are being forced to move to new bases due to anti-LGBTQ bullying happening at schools.
Speaking at the Center for a New American Security’s annual National Security Conference, Assistant Air Force Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Alex Wagner said that he’s worried about being forced to move families from bases due to their LGBTQ kids experiencing bullying and harassment in schools.
Wagner said the ongoing issue is “distracting from their mission, that’s detracting from our readiness.”
“If servicemembers are thinking and concerned about the experience their kids are having, they’re not going to be focused on their jobs. They’re not gonna be focused on their mission,” Wagner said at the conference, according to DefenseOne.com.
Wagner also said at the conference at diversity and inclusion are “core” to U.S. national security, noting how diverse groups always outperform “carefully selected teams of homogenous individuals.”
“What I need, managing the Department of the Air Force’s personnel enterprise, is a diverse force that thinks about how to approach the hardest, toughest, most challenging national security issues, challenging issues period that this country faces, bringing them together with a single focus with a single mission,” Wagner added.
Wagner’s comments come as the country has seen a recent wave of GOP-led state legislatures passing laws that target the LGBTQ community, from limits in the classroom to bans on drag shows to prohibition of gender-affirming care for transgender minors.
The Pentagon recently banned drag show performances at military bases, enforcing a policy that hosting these types of events is inconsistent with regulations regarding the use of Defense Department resources.