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Tags: nps | pride month | drag queen | deb haaland | interior

Park Service Staff May Participate in Pride Events in Uniform

By    |   Wednesday, 29 May 2024 01:10 PM EDT

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a memo Friday that National Park Service staff can participate in Pride Month activities in uniform, reversing a previous NPS policy.

"I want to ensure that every employee has the opportunity to thrive in a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment," Haaland wrote in a memo obtained by The Advocate.

Haaland said the department celebrates Special Emphasis Months, which includes observances for LGBTQ+ Pride, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, Black Employment, Federal Women's Program, Hispanic Employment, Individuals with Disabilities and Disabled Veterans, Juneteenth, and Women's Equality Day.

"I am directing Bureau leaders or their designated officials to determine how and when bureaus should participate in these externally organized events," she wrote in the memo. "This could include marching units in parades, booths at parades, events etc. This would allow employees to participate in uniform representing their respective bureau. This direction takes effect immediately."

A prior memo sent on May 17 said employees participating in uniform in events not organized by the NPS were not keeping in NPS policy, the Hill reported.

The memo prompted outcry from Pattie Gonia, an environmentalist and drag queen, who spoke out on social media and criticized the NPS for "banning Pride." Gonia applauded queer park service employees for working to get the NPS to reverse the policy.

"We thank the National Park Service and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland for listening to their employees as well as the general public," Gonia told the Advocate. "We remain cautious on how the updated policy will be implemented."

GLAAD, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ rights, applauded the decision.

"Our National Parks and the public servants who work there are treasures valued by every American. Employees should be able to express support for Pride and all celebrations that bring people together to reflect the beautiful diversity of our country and people," Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO said in a statement. "We owe thanks to Park Service employees who spoke up about the discriminatory policy and who work every day to make all feel welcome to enjoy the parks that belong to all of us."

Sam Barron

Sam Barron has almost two decades of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, crime and business.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a memo Friday that National Park Service staff can participate in Pride Month activities in uniform, reversing a previous NPS policy.
nps, pride month, drag queen, deb haaland, interior
359
2024-10-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 01:10 PM
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