June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vice President Mike Pence is defending the Trump administration’s refusal to allow U.S. embassies across the globe to raise LGBT “pride” flags on the same flagpoles hosting the American flag, framing it as a matter of maintaining the preeminence of the Stars and Stripes.
Last week, three U.S. diplomats revealed that the administration is denying diplomats’ requests to raise the rainbow banners on the building’s official flagpole, though they are still allowed to display the flag elsewhere, including on embassy walls and inside buildings. The requirement to seek permission first marks a reversal of the Obama administration giving embassies full discretion to fly rainbow flags during June’s “Pride Month.”
“I support that,” Pence told NBC News Monday. “As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American, and we both feel that way very passionately. But when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, having the one American flag fly, I think is the right decision.
“And we put no restrictions on displaying any other flags or any other displays at our embassies beyond that,” the vice president added.
Diplomats at several embassies are running with that loophole, draping LGBT flags on the side of their buildings, displaying the flags inside buildings, releasing photos and videos of embassy staff demonstrating for “pride,” and illuminating the U.S. embassy in New Delhi in rainbow lights. One unnamed diplomat speaking to the Washington Post called it a “category one insurrection.”
The policy of keeping rainbow flags off the main flagpole but allowing pro-LGBT imagery everywhere else is reflective of President Donald Trump’s mixed record on LGBT issues.
At the same time, Trump has nominated a variety of pro-LGBT figures to judgeships and other government posts, and continued a number of Obama-era pro-LGBT policies, such as an executive order on “gender identity nondiscrimination.” He also declared after the 2016 election that the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling forcing all fifty states to recognize same-sex “marriage” was “settled law.”
Most recently, the president tweeted his support for LGBT Pride Month, touting the “outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation.”