- The Trump administration is reportedly blocking requests from US embassies to fly the rainbow flag on the flagpole in honour of LBGTQ Pride Month, which is celebrated in June.
- President Donald Trump on May 31 became the first GOP president to recognise Pride Month, but moves like this stand in contrast with his pledge to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people.
- This move also bolsters criticism for LGBTQ groups and activists who felt Trump’s recognition of Pride Month was not reflected in his record.
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The Trump administration has reportedly denied requests from several United States embassies to fly the rainbow flag on the flagpole in honour of Pride Month, which stands in contrast with President Donald Trump’s recent pledge to “stand in solidarity” with the LGBTQ community around the world.
The US embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia were denied requests to fly the pride flag on embassies’ flagpoles in June, according to what diplomats told NBC News.
State Department policy dictates that embassies must acquire permission to fly the pride flag on their flagpoles. No embassy that has made the request has been granted permission as of yet, according to the NBC report, though they are allowed to display the flag inside and other places.
The US Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, for example, is displaying a rainbow banner on the side of the building.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.
President Donald Trump on May 31 became the first Republican president to recognise Pride Month, tweeting,” As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognise the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
The president also announced his administration was launching a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality and he invited “all nations” to join.
The Trump administration was promptly criticised for speaking out in support of Pride Month by LBGTQ rights groups and activists who felt the president’s expression of solidarity was an instance of words over actions.
Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, in a May 31 tweet described Trump’s recognition of Pride Month as “gross hypocrisy, with an emphasis on gross.”
“You can’t celebrate Pride and constantly undermine our rights – including attacking #TransHealth, discharging #TransTroops, refusing to protect LGBTQ youth, and cozying up to dictators who brutalize & marginalize LGBTQ people,” Griffin added.
Griffin in a tweet on Friday said the reports the Trump administration won’t allow “US embassies to display the Pride flag show the true extent of their animus. This sends a chilling message not only to LGBTQ people in this country, but around the globe.”
As Griffin alluded to in his tweet in late May, Trump has barred transgender people from serving in the US military. The president has cited concerns about health care costs and military readiness to justify this policy. But a 2016 study requested by the Pentagon found that allowing transgender people to serve openly would have “minimal impact on readiness and health care costs.”
The Trump administration has also sought to rollback federal protections for transgender people, including a recent proposal to do away with an Obama era policy that barred health care providers from discriminating against transgender patients.
In the weeks leading up to Trump’s inauguration in late 2016 and early 2017, many residents in a Washington, DC, neighbourhood where then-vice president elect Mike Pence was temporarily staying decided to hang up rainbow flags in opposition to his presence.Pence has a well-documented record of being anti-LGBTQ and his wife, Karen Pence, works at a school that seeks to exclude gay and transgender staff members and students.
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