A conservative legal group asked the Navy Monday to investigate its “digital ambassador” drag queen for political and sexual posts online they claim violate military rules.
America First Legal sent a letter Monday morning to top Navy officials detailing the need for an investigation into Yeoman Second Class Joshua Kelley, who performs as a drag queen named “Harpy Daniels.” Kelley, who is in the Navy and was hired as a “digital ambassador” drag queen, has tweeted several times about his support for Democrats.
Jacob Meckler, legal counsel for America First Legal, said the Navy must enforce military policies that restrict any political statements from members.
“There is strong reason to believe that Yeoman Second Class Joshua Kelley (“YN2 Kelley”) has knowingly, materially, and repeatedly violated these critical requirements,” Meckler wrote in the letter. “[H]e has repeatedly engaged in partisan activity, behaved in ways that discredit the military, publicly criticized his command, and misused his uniform for personal gain. Based on the Department’s past actions with respect to politically or culturally conservative service members, an investigation is appropriate here.”
The Department of Defense restricts military members from promoting political parties or candidates regardless of if they are in uniform. Kelley has posted extensively on Twitter to express his support for Democrats.
“The Blue Wave is here and taking Storm Together we Stand Strong! Now is the time to be Fierce!!” Kelley tweeted from his Harpy Daniels account in November 2018.
Kelley joined the Navy in 2016.
“All of 7th fleet is lazy,” Kelley tweeted, which appears to be a reference to the United States 7th fleet.
Another concern Meckler details in the letter is an extensive list of overly sexual posts from Kelley, such as one tweet about “doing oral activities” on a man.
Another political post was when Kelley tweeted his opposition to a Florida bill last year that restricted lessons on sexuality and gender to young children, characterized by Democrats as a “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Meckler, in his letter to Navy officials, argued there is a double standard in the enforcement of its political rules, as conservatives have been disciplined in the past for similar actions. This included a mention of the case of Sergeant Gary Stein of the Marine Corps, who was given an “Other than Honorable Discharge” after he made a Facebook group called “Armed Forces Tea Party” in 2012 that included posts critical of then-President Barack Obama. Another example cited was two National Guard members disciplined for a TikTok post where they criticized “liberals and Democrats” as “crybabies and snowflakes.”