The Trump administration rejected several requests from U.S. embassies to fly pride flags in order to support LGBTQ Pride Month. Embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia, among others, submitted requests to fly the rainbow flag for the month of June, according to NBC News. The Trump administration denied those requests, according to the diplomats who made them.
Donald Trump has claimed to be supportive of LGBTQ rights. At the end of May, he tweeted that his administration had “launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.”
However, critics argue that he has worked to set back the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people through his policies. In July 2017, he announced that he was banning transgender people in the military. He has also supported the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to allow health care providers to deny care to LGBTQ people based on religious objections.
Under his administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development ended protections in shelters for transgendered people, and the HHS’ Office of Civil Rights proposed a rule that would allow discrimination under the Affordable Care Act.
Brian Bulatao, the undersecretary for management at the State Department, is responsible for approving which flags will fly on official embassy poles. Bulatao is a longtime associate of Mike Pompeo.
The State Department has rejected requests from American embassies around the world to fly the rainbow pride flag for the month of June, NBC News reports. https://t.co/pjH7cyx4DM
— Axios (@axios) June 7, 2019
In contrast to the Trump administration’s policy, the Obama administration gave permission for embassies overseas to fly the pride flag to celebrate Pride Month.
The pride flag is being flown elsewhere on embassy grounds, but the administration has denied requests to allow it to fly on the official flagpole outside of the building. Right now, some embassies are displaying the flag on exterior walls and on poles inside embassies.
German Ambassador Richard Grenell, an openly gay Republican, has been leading a push to decriminalize homosexuality in the dozens of countries where it is still illegal. Despite the administration’s denial, Grenell told NBC that the German embassy would still celebrate by hanging a banner on the side of the embassy.
“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,” Grenell said.
The embassy in Seoul, South Korea, is celebrating Pride Month with a large rainbow banner on the building.