Four-year Dadaist art installation Donald Trump and his administration are rejecting requests from United States embassies to fly the rainbow flag most closely associated with June, LGBTQ+ Pride Month, according to NBC News.
Embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia have seen their requests denied, according to diplomats. While the pride flag can and is being displayed elsewhere on embassy grounds, Trump had decided not to allow it on the flagpole, a sharp contrast to his claims of leading the charge in support of LGBTQ+ rights worldwide.
Denials have come from State Department undersecretary Brian Bulatao, a longtime associate of Secretary of State and former boss Mike Pompeo, under whom he worked at the CIA.
Under the Obama administration, embassies had blanket permission to fly the flag during June. While diplomats were told they could seek approval to fly flags on embassy flagpoles, no such approvals have been granted yet, despite the efforts by Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany leading the push to decriminalize homosexuality in nearly 70 countries.
Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, has downplayed LGTBQ+ symbols while introducing panels on religious freedom. He has not issued a statement for Pride Month.
Still, despite Trump’s insistence, diplomats have been displaying the colors in other ways. According to the Washington Post, United States missions in Seoul and Chennai, India are hidden behind rainbow flags, while the New Dehli embassy is awash in rainbow lights.
While the administration has hired several gay ambassadors, and Trump became the first Republican president to issue a statement celebrating Pride Month ever, LGBTQ+ employees serving at posts abroad say they feel more vulnerable than years prior, and have decided against discussing LGBT issues publicly to avoid drawing attention to themselves.