Vice President Mike Pence defended the Trump administration’s ban on U.S. embassies flying the pride flag, the rainbow-hued symbol of the LGBTQ community, during June, which is Pride Month.
As the LGBTQ community around the world celebrates itself, personnel at several U.S. embassies have asked for permission to fly the pride flag below the American flag. However, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Trump administration made it clear that the flagpoles at U.S. embassies cannot fly the LGBTQ pride flag.
Specifically, personnel at U.S. embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia have asked for — and been denied — permission to fly the pride flag. Moreover, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is leading efforts to have homosexuality decriminalized around the world.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, if any other embassies directly requested permission to fly the pride flag and were denied.
Pence said in an interview Tuesday that the administration’s denial of those requests was the right thing to do.
“When it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies,” he said.
Throughout his political career, Pence has been known for his championing anti-LGBTQ legislation during his tenure as Governor of Indiana, as well as for anti-LGBTQ statements, such as suggesting that there would be “societal collapse” if same-sex marriage were legalized, as Time reports.
As U.S. Ambassador in Madrid under President Obama, we didn’t hang the pride flag on a wall, or hide it inside the embassy; signaling second class status...we hung it proudly on the primary flag pole together with the American flag and celebrated it. #pride2019 #lgbtq pic.twitter.com/S4qbts7rDy— James Costos ???????? (@JamesCostos) June 7, 2019
Just because those embassies have been denied requests to fly the flag doesn’t mean that their personnel haven’t shown solidarity with the LGBTQ community in other ways for Pride Month. At the U.S. embassies in Seoul, South Korea and Chennai, India, for example, huge rainbow flags partially obscure the entrances. In New Dehli, colored lights arranged to resemble a rainbow shine on the building’s exterior. Other U.S. embassies, such as the one in Vienna, Austria, have put photos of LGBTQ flags on their websites.
One diplomat, speaking anonymously, said that all of this flag-flying in defiance of the Trump administration’s orders is a “Category One insurrection.”
However, “insurrection” may not be the correct choice of words, because as it turns out, the specific language of the “ban” on flying the pride flag at U.S. embassies simply forbids it from being displayed on the same flagpole as the American flag. The “ban” doesn’t prevent the flag from being displayed elsewhere on embassy property, such as on another flagpole not bearing the American flag. It’s a distinction that Pence himself noted in the interview in which he defended the policy.