Trump to U.S. embassies: Do not fly the Pride flag on your official flagpoles

U.S. embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia are among others that have requested permission from the State Department to fly the LGBT Pride flag on their flagpoles for Pride month, only to be denied by the Trump administration, NBC News reports.

The Pride flag can be flown in other locations in embassy grounds, but not on the official flagpoles — an order that seemingly contradicts President Trump‘s recent claim to be a supporter of LGBT civil rights overseas. In February of this year, the Trump administration announced a global effort to decriminalize homosexuality, an initiative that came in response to reports of Iran executing a man for the crime of being gay.

From NBC News:

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.

The Obama years saw the exact opposite of the Trump administration’s directive. The Obama administration gave blanket permission to embassies to fly the Pride flag during June, which is recognized as LGBT Pride Month. While flying the flag on official embassy flagpoles needs to be approved, NBC News reports that no approvals have yet been issued from the Trump administration.

The denials have reportedly alarmed LGBT U.S. officials serving around the world. NBC News reports that several officials have raised concerns in a private group chat for Gay and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA).

Adding to the Trump administration’s mixed messages on LGBT rights, the White House barred transgender people undergoing transition therapy or who have been diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” from enlisting in the military last month. During an interview in the UK this week, Trump justified the policy by saying trans people “take massive amounts of drugs,” in an apparent reference to hormone therapy.

As NBC News points out, the Trump administration has also rolled back Obama-era rules that prevent discrimination against trans people in the healthcare industry.

Featured image via William Murphy/Flickr

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