Administration bars Pride flag from U.S. Embassy flagpoles

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WASHINGTON — NBC OUT reported Friday that the Trump administration has barred the LGBTQ Pride flag from flying on flagpoles at U.S. Embassies.

The news site reported that embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia had requested to fly the flag but were denied.


Although the pride flag can and is being flown elsewhere on embassy grounds, including inside embassies and on exterior walls, the decision not to allow it on the official flagpole stands in contrast to President Donald Trump’s claim to be a leader in supporting LGBT rights overseas. Trump’s administration has announced a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality overseas and this month issued a tweet and formal statement to “celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made.”

The denials to U.S. embassies have come from the office of the State Department’s under secretary for management, Brian Bulatao, a longtime associate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who also worked for him at the CIA. Under State Department policy, embassies that want to fly the flag on their flagpoles are expected to obtain permission from Washington.

During the Obama administration, the government granted blanket permission to embassies overseas to fly the pride flag during June. This year, U.S. diplomats said, embassies were told they can display the pride flag other places, including inside embassies, but that requests to fly it on the flagpole must be specifically approved. No approvals have been granted.

NBC OUT said that the Germany refusal was surprising because the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is gay and leading an proposed effort to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.



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