Trump admin bans rainbow flags above US embassies, reverses Obama policy
June 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration is denying requests from United States embassies across the world to fly rainbow flags in recognition of LGBT “pride” month. Several embassies, however, are finding other ways to sport rainbow imagery.
Last week, three U.S. diplomats told NBC News that the administration has denied requests from embassies in Brazil, Germany, Israel, and Latvia to raise the rainbow flags on the building’s official flagpole. Diplomats are still allowed to display the flag elsewhere, including on embassy walls and inside buildings.
The rejections came from the office of State Department Undersecretary for Management Brian Bulatao, and the requirement to seek permission first marks a reversal of the Obama administration giving embassies full permission and discretion to fly rainbow flags during June.
Given President Donald Trump’s mixed record on LGBT issues, most recently his endorsement of LGBT Pride Month on May 31, the directive appears to be less about rejecting the homosexual agenda than it is about reserving the official flagpole for the nations being represented.
"The President's recognition of Pride Month and his tweet encouraging our decriminalization campaign gives me even more pride to once again march in the Berlin Pride parade, hang a huge banner on the side of the Embassy recognizing our pride, host multiple events at the Embassy and the residence, and fly the gay pride flag," U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, a homosexual conservative, said Friday. A spokesman for the German embassy added, "the pride flag will be on as many places as it can at the Embassy."
Diplomats at several embassies have found ways to defy or sidestep the directive, the Washington Post reports. Those in South Korea and India have draped LGBT flags over their building facades, the one in New Delhi illuminated the building in rainbow lights, and several others released photos and videos of staffers themselves demonstrating for “pride.”
Today, along with the U.S. Mission in Nepal community, I join people around the world in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Intersex #PrideMonth, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to defending human rights for all. #Pride2019 pic.twitter.com/5awKWtcP80— Ambassador Randy Berry (@USAmbNepal) June 1, 2019
“This is a category one insurrection,” one unnamed diplomat told the Post.
While Trump’s pro-life record has largely pleased conservatives, his record on LGBT issues is more mixed. He has defended religious adoption agencies, opposed gender ideology in the military, public schools, and homeless shelters, and staffed his administration with various pro-family leaders.
On the other hand, 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.”