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Washington Blade Reporter Removed From Justice Department Pride Event

Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson was removed from a U.S. Justice Department  event observing June as Pride month.

The event titled “Solidarity through Pride” was held in the Great Hall of the Justice Department building and was led by acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana Boente. 

“Whatever an individual’s background, Americans come together to support one another,” Boente said. “In this country, we know that our unity makes us stronger. We’re united in our respect for the rule of law and the preservation of the freedoms of all of us. Americans understand that in this country liberty means liberty for all. Freedom belongs not to any one race, gender or orientation.”

A Justice Department official approached Johnson during Boente's remarks and said he had to be escorted out because the Justice Department Pride event was closed to the press.

According to the Blade:

A Justice Department official responded to Blade inquiries about the DOJ Pride event via email shortly before it began and said the event would be closed to press, but by that time — less than 30 minutes before the event was set to begin — the Blade was already entering the event after being informed second-hand the event was cleared by public affairs. The email was unseen until after the Blade was escorted out.

Washington Blade Editor Kevin Naff criticized the decision, saying: “These events have historically been open to the media and this action at DOJ today is an unfortunate break with tradition. Holding Pride celebrations behind closed doors violates the very spirit of such events and we urge all government agencies to let the sun shine in.”

Thoughts on the decision to bar a member of the LGBT media from covering a government sponsored Pride event? 




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