While a number of companies have faced public criticism for promoting LGBTQ Pride Month in June, federal organizations promoting “pride” activities have mostly flown under the radar.
One of the few times a federal entity came close to being scrutinized occurred when the Navy deleted a pride post on its Instagram account.
Even after that incident, the Navy continued to promote Pride Month with the publication of an official memorandum on Twitter announcing the Navy’s 2023 pride theme: “Peace, Love, Resolution.”
The nautical military branch was simply following its commander in chief’s directive. The White House has made several announcements promoting and encouraging others to celebrate Pride Month, including by publishing a press release, posting on Twitter, and changing the official White House’s Twitter header to a pride logo.
Other military branches and federal organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Postal Service, and the Department of Veterans Affairs followed the White House’s example and are promoting Pride Month.
Though this list is not exhaustive, here are 21 federal and federally funded organizations that promote Pride Month with taxpayer dollars:
- The Smithsonian Museums: The taxpayer-funded museums offer a lineup of LGBTQ events for the month of June, including sexuality talks and “drag story hours” featuring “drag queens” reading books to children.
- CIA: The Central Intelligence Agency announced its support for Pride Month with a puzzling theme: “WELCO-ME.” The acronym stands for “Wellness Equity LGBTQ+ Community Openness ME,” according to the Twitter post.
- FBI: The bureau announced its support of Pride Month on Twitter by thanking its LGBTQ employees for their service, dedication, and “perspectives.” While the bureau accepts LGBTQ perspectives, it has actively targeted Catholic perspectives.
- Department of Labor: This Pride Month, the Department of Labor says that it will “joyfully celebrate” LGBTQ employees by offering “guidance to workforce development on gender identity, gender expression, and sex stereotyping.”
- Department of State: On Twitter, the State Department encouraged individuals to view their “LGBTQI+ travel safety page.” It said in a press statement, “We strongly oppose the ‘otherization’ of LGBTQI+ persons to justify authoritarian power grabs and attacks on institutions of democracy globally.”
- Department of Education: Rather than focus on increasing the overall math, science, or literary scores of American children, the Department of Education decided it was more important to create this pride post on Twitter: “Our message to LGBTQI+ students, teachers, and staff as we begin #PrideMonth: ED has got your back.”
- Department of Agriculture: The Department of Agriculture connected pride to farming in a Twitter post that showed a poster with the words “2023 Pride Month: Changing the Landscape.”
- U.S. Agency for International Development: This federally funded world development organization claims that its “efforts are both from and for the American people.” It released its “first-ever LGBTQI+ Inclusive Development Policy” and is giving money through the organization’s “Rainbow Fund” to missions that “integrate LGBTQI+ considerations into their programming.”
- NASA: Johnson Space Center celebrates Pride Month by participating in Houston’s parade and events and by permitting employees to wear LGBTQ attire on Wednesdays during June. It also has various employee LGBTQ-themed socials planned.
- USPS: The Postal Service continues to promote Pride Month through LGBTQ-themed stamps. The USPS announced these pride stamps via a post on Twitter: “We’re proud to continue honoring influential groundbreakers like Harvey Milk, Sally Ride, Isadora Duncan, Ellsworth Kelly, and Emilio Sanchez on our stamps and your envelopes.” The Postal Service also posted on June 8 that it offers special scholarships for LGBTQ individuals.
- Veterans Affairs: Under the theme “We All Have a Seat at the Table,” the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is holding its third annual “virtual Pride Month.” This monthlong event features online seminars on topics that include “A Legal Guide to LGBTQ Couples,” “Healthcare and Fertility Preservation for Transgender Patients,” and “A Clinical Guide to Gender-Affirming Prosthetics,” to name a few.
- Army: Instead of producing its own Twitter post, the Army retweeted Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s press release honoring “LGBTQ Service Members.”
- Marines: Out of all the military branches, the Marines came the closest to not endorsing Pride Month. The only public support we found was a retweet of the Navy’s Twitter post on participating in the Department of Defense’s 12th annual Pride Month celebration and a public announcement on its website recognizing the service of LGBTQ service members.
- Navy: The military branch promoted Pride Month with the publication of an official memorandum on Twitter announcing the Navy’s 2023 pride theme: “Peace, Love, Resolution.” The Navy also participated in the Department of Defense’s 12th annual Pride Month celebration.
- Air Force: The Air Force saluted Pride Month in its Twitter pride post. So far, it has hosted two pride events on air bases, one of which included a presentation by LGBTQ officer Lt. Col. Bree Fram during a Pride Month luncheon at Altus Air Force Base.
- Space Force: Like most of the other military branches, the Space Force recognized its LGBTQ service members through a pride post on its Twitter account.
- Department of Justice: In a news release from “Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in Honor of Pride Month,” the DOJ posted a fact sheet on its work to defend LGBTQ individuals.
- Department of Transportation: On Twitter, the Department of Transportation published a poster that contained a pride-themed, Black Lives Matter fist logo with the word “pride” on the poster.
- Department of Energy: How energy relates to Pride Month is still unknown; nonetheless, the department felt a need to endorse the LGBTQ community by creating a pride-themed logo and posting, “When everyone has a seat at the table, America is at its strongest.”
- Department of Homeland Security: Like other organizations, the Department of Homeland Security announced its endorsement of Pride Month by posting a video of the department raising the LGBTQ flag at its headquarters.
- Library of Congress: The nation’s library sponsored Pride Month by encouraging readers to check out its LGBTQ books. The library is set to host a number of pride events this June.