Report: Pentagon choosing 'Pride' over Trump's orders

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Chad Groening (

DoD LGBT Pride Month 2016 (DoD website)A military watchdog is calling out Pentagon officials who are defying President Donald Trump and his policy for transgenders in the armed forces.

Trump reportedly caught the Pentagon off guard in 2017 when he used Twitter to announce a total ban. That announcement angered LGBT allies within the Pentagon by reversing a policy implemented in the remaining months of the LGBT-friendly Obama administration.

While the Pentagon went to work to implement the commander in chief’s order, then came the lawsuits to attempt to stop the new policy. But a 2019 U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifted lower court injunctions that allowed the policy to move forward while litigation continues.


Reacting to the Pentagon’s actions to date, the Center for Military Readiness has documented examples of leaders defying President Trump's policy.

CMR president Elaine Donnelly tells OneNewsNow that one example is Vice Admiral Robert Burke, Chief of Naval Personnel, who has announced transgender service members can “live socially” as their “preferred gender” when not in uniform.

Donnelly and CMR allege that allowance violates a March memorandum, sent from the deputy Secretary of Defense, which announced the new policy was in place. 

The CMR report also knocks the Navy for publicizing a performance by drag queen “Harpy Daniels” on the USS Ronald Reagan. The drag queen is a Yeoman 3rd class on the ship.  

“If people are allowed to cross dress, or other things after hours that are different than what they do on duty,” says Donnelly, “that creates a problem and it needs to be resolved."

Another issue raised by CMR is a U.S. Marine brigadier general recognizing “Pride Month” and permitting “observance events” that CMR points out are inconsistent with the transgender policy.

Still another problem, CMR alleges, is state governors informing national guard units to ignore and defy Trump's transgender policy.

Scratch one problem

But according to Donnelly, one of the problems has gone by the wayside: a holdover from the Obama administration has finally retired from the Pentagon.

Rear Admiral Anthony Kurta (USN-Ret.), who was appointed Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in September 2014, has retired. In that capacity, Kurta was instrumental in helping implement then-President Barack Obama's social engineering orders in the military.

Kurta, who actively participated in LGBT "pride" activities at the Pentagon, remained in the Pentagon when President Trump took office and was actually nominated to officially continue that post under the new administration. But thanks in part to the efforts of the Center for Military Readiness, Kurta's nomination was never confirmed by the full Senate.

Donnelly shares that during a recent trip to Washington she learned that Kurta has retired. "Anthony Kurta is no longer the problem," she adds. "He stayed longer because he had some expertise in this field – but he is now retired."

Donnelly urges the White House to be careful in who they choose to fill important positions at the Pentagon. "They will need to seek civilians who are in tune with the president – and [then those civilians] need to direct the military to follow the president's lead," she states.

Editor's note: Information about the retirement of Admiral Anthony Kurta was added after story was originally posted.


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