The Trump administration has reportedly shot down U.S. embassy requests to raise rainbow flags on their official flag poles during LGBT Pride Month.
What are the details?
According to NBC News, three unnamed U.S. diplomats confirmed that the State Department denied the requests made by a number of U.S. embassies, including in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia. Officials acknowledged, however, that the pride flag is still allowed to be displayed elsewhere on the properties.
The denials are a change from the Obama administration, which granted permission for all U.S. embassies to fly the flag during pride month in June.
President Donald Trump has been accused of discriminating against the LGBT community in the past, most notably over his administration’s decision to prohibit transgender individuals from enlisting in the armed forces. The president has defended that decision, citing the costs involved with gender transition surgeries and medications.
The president did, however, recently tweet out his acknowledgement of pride month for the first time since he’s been in office, The Hill reported. In his message, President Trump noted the contributions of the LGBT community, while pushing his initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in countries worldwide where it is still punishable.
NBC reported that the decision to bar the embassy in Berlin from displaying a pride flag “is particularly jarring” because it impacts openly gay ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who leads the decriminalization efforts.
In a statement, Grenell told the outlet, “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.”