Defence Minister Peter Dutton, it seems, is not a fan of rainbow clothes.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported that days after after the department held morning teas with staff wearing rainbow clothing to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia, Dutton, Dutton has ordered Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell and Secretary Greg Moriarty to issue a note banning events with “particular clothes in celebration”.

Dutton told the newspapers, “I’ve been very clear to the chiefs that I will not tolerate discrimination. But we are not pursuing a woke agenda. Our task is to build up the morale in the Australian Defence Force and these woke agendas don’t help.”

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It all seems to have started with a note that encouraged Defence ADF and APS “to acknowledge IDAHOBIT in a COVID-safe manner. Examples for activity include hosting morning teas, encouraging discussions regarding the importance of IDAHOBIT, raising awareness of LGBTI rights and wearing visible rainbow clothing or ally pins.”

The note said that the purpose was to demonstrate “support for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) colleagues, friends and family by standing against prejudice and discrimination, and demonstrating inclusion”.

However, on Friday a fresh note was sent, according to the two newspapers. This time the note banned events where employees wore particular clothes.

“Defence represents the people of Australia and must at all times be focused on our primary mission to protect Australia’s national security interests. We must not be putting effort into matters that distract from this.”

“To meet these important aims, changing language protocols and those events such as morning teas where personnel are encouraged to wear particular clothes in celebration … are not required and should cease.”

“We have made it clear to all Service Chiefs and Group Heads that combat and organisational capability is to be delivered through our well-developed training and education programs, exercises and operational experience, with respectful behaviours, underpinned by Defence values,” the note added.

 

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