Despite the Trump Administration’s reported refusals this year to grant permission for U.S. embassies to fly rainbow flags during Pride Month, some diplomats are finding ways to still show their support for the LGBTQ community.
Under the Obama administration, all U.S. embassies received permission to hoist rainbow flags during the month-long celebration. This year, President Trump’s State Department has been denying requests by U.S. embassies around the world to fly rainbow flags on embassy flagpoles during June, according to NBC News. Currently, embassies are permitted to fly the flag on exterior walls or inside the embassies, according to NBC.
The lack of approval to raise a Pride flag alongside Old Glory hasn’t stopped many embassies from displaying rainbow colors or the flag itself.
A picture tweeted by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, shows the building’s facade lit up with rainbow lights. The Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, displayed a large pride flag several stories up. The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, India posted a video of the Consul General speaking in front of an enormous rainbow flag. And the website of the U.S. Embassy in Vienna featured a photo of the Pride flag hanging below the American flag from International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in May.
In Jerusalem, the U.S. Embassy sent a delegation to the city’s Pride parade, according to the Jerusalem Post. Additionally, Randy Berry, the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, tweeted a photo of himself with embassy staff holding up letters spelling “PRIDE 19.”
Today, along with the U.S. Mission in Nepal community, I join people around the world in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Intersex #PrideMonth, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to defending human rights for all. #Pride2019 pic.twitter.com/5awKWtcP80— Ambassador Randy Berry (@USAmbNepal) June 1, 2019
According to the Washington Post, the policy changed last year, after Mike Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, became Secretary of State. Last year, the Post said all requests to fly pride flags on embassy flagpoles were approved by the State Department.
Under this administration, some State Department employees told the Post it’s better to maintain a low profile.
“We fly below the radar,” one employee said. “We survive because they don’t realize we’re here.”