Many U.S. embassies who have previously flown the rainbow pride flag in the month of June have THIS year been denied permission to do so by the Trump administration, said two senior state department officials in comments to CNN on Friday.
U.S. embassies in Germany, Israel, Brazil and Latvia requested permission from the State Department to fly the rainbow flag on their flagpoles and were denied, NBC News reported Friday, citing three unidentified American diplomats.
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin has a long history of flying the rainbow flag during the city’s Pride celebration and planned to do so again this year, but this year they were told no. An unidentified State Department official told CNN that this time, in response to their request, “an email was sent back from State’s Management office, saying no. Denied.”
Even amid all the controversy and the denial from this administration, some diplomats are planning to take matters into their own hands, including U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who said he plans to display a “huge banner on the side of the Embassy” to honor and celebrate Pride Month.
Grenell, who is gay, told CNN,
“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.”U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin released the following important statement supporting LGBTQ rights last month in honor of an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia:
The United States is committed to protecting and defending the human rights of all people. Today on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia we reiterate our commitment to the protection and equality of every human being Decriminalizing homosexuality is a priority for Mission Germany and the entire U.S. government. There are over 70 countries where LGBTI individuals face violence and arrest for simply being who they are. This is unacceptable. No one should have to live in fear of incarceration or physical harm for being LGBTI. This is not a left versus right issue, or a religious versus secular issue. This is a human issue. This May 17 we celebrate the progress we have made around the world in protecting human rights, but recognize that there is work still to be done.
Embassies around the world have told media outlets they will find other ways to celebrate Pride month and to formally display such celebrations on their grounds in ways OTHER than on the flagpole.
President Donald Trump and his administration CLAIM to be supportive of LGBTQ rights, even releasing a statement for Pride month saying, “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.”
But this administration has continually set back the fight for LGBTQ rights in this country, rolling back measures that protect transgender students and implementing bans on trans people in the military and removing other protections this community so fiercely needs.