Today, the Modern Military Association of America, the nation’s largest LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit organization, responded to Secretary Mark Esper’s decision to ban the LGBTQ pride flag. A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed today that Secretary Esper’s memo on the “Public Display or Depiction of Flags in the Department of Defense” — which was seen as a way to effectively ban the Confederate flag — also bans the Pride flag.

“It’s absolutely outrageous that Defense Secretary Mark Esper would ban the Pride flag — the very symbol of inclusion and diversity,” said MMAA Interim Executive Director Jennifer Dane. “In what universe is it OK to turn an opportunity to ban a racist symbol like the Confederate flag into an opportunity to ban the symbol of diversity? This decision sends an alarming message to LGBTQ service members, their families, and future recruits.”

“The Pentagon must immediately reconsider and take swift and appropriate action to ensure the Pride flag and LGBTQ Pride Month observances are not threatened,” continued Dane. “If Secretary Esper refuses to reconsider, we call on Members of Congress to take action.”