Photo: Reuters
Jerusalem Gay Pride parade 2019
Photo: Reuters

U.S. bans flying rainbow flag at Jerusalem embassy for Pride Month

State Department reportedly rejects every request to raise the flag at missions around the world; American staffers in Israel said to express opposition to new policy by attending Pride Parade in capital last week

The U.S. Embassy in Israel was instructed not to fly the rainbow flag for LGBTQ pride month after the State Department reportedly rejected similar requests from several U.S. embassies around the world. 



The ban, which was reported by NBC News Saturday, came after a new policy announced last year said diplomatic missions wishing to to fly a rainbow flag were required to obtain top-level approval from the State Department’s Office of Management, headed by Pompeo associate Brian Bulatao. 


U.S. mission in Jerusalem that became the embassy last year (Photo: Atta Awisat)
U.S. mission in Jerusalem that became the embassy last year (Photo: Atta Awisat)


However, in what could be seen as an act of defiance, some of the American diplomats serving in Israel joined 10,000 participants in the March for Pride and Tolerance held in Jerusalem last Thursday.


Other diplomats in U.S. embassies around the world have also been finding ways to defy, or at least get around, the new policy by tweeting photos of themselves at local Pride parades. 


March for Pride and Tolerance Jerusalem 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
March for Pride and Tolerance Jerusalem 2019 (Photo: Reuters)


NBC quoted three unnamed diplomats as saying that U.S. embassies in Germany, Israel, Brazil and Latvia requested permission from the State Department to fly the rainbow flag on their flagpoles. All the requests were denied, but were told flags could be flown elsewhere on embassy grounds.


The decision stands in contrast to the administration's announced campaign to decriminalize homosexuality overseas as well as a tweet by President Donald Trump calling for a celebration of LGBT Pride Month, which began last week.




The Washington Post on Saturday quoted gay employees of the State Department a saying that Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, has not attended the State Department’s annual Pride Day event for two years running as his predecessors usually did, although he was traveling in Europe this year.


The employees told the Post that the ban on flying the rainbow flag was just the tip of an iceberg of slights.


“Day by day, a death by a thousand cuts, our rights as LGBTQ Americans are being eroded with the removal of a guidance here, the rewriting of a policy there," the employees said.


According to the report, the State Department declined to answer questions about the Pride Month advisory and rainbow flag ban.


The Trump administration has been accused of having a regressive approach towards LGBTQ rights. This year, a ban on transgender troops serving in the military came into effect, while all mention of gay rights have been removed from the White House website.


Last week, the adminstration lifted protections for transgender people receiving medical treatment and is preparing legislation allowing homeless shelters to turn away trans people.


During the tenure of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, however, the White House was lit up with rainbow colors to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. 









פרסום ראשון: 06.10.19, 13:32
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