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State Department to now allow US embassies to fly pride flag

ANI | Updated: Apr 24, 2021 19:49 IST

Washington [US], April 24 (ANI): US embassies and consulates around the world are authorised to display pride flags, symbolic of the LGBTQ community, during Pride Month after officials announced a blanket authorization, confirmed Friday.
The decision from Secretary of State Antony Blinken allows the rainbow flag to hang on the same pole as the American flag during the month of June, according to The New York Times, citing a State Department cable.
The flags can be hung before May 17, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and stay up through the end of Pride Month, the cable instructs.

According to The New York Times, in the cable, Blinken noted that it was not a requirement and gave chiefs of mission the ability to "determine that such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions."
In January this year during his confirmation hearing at the Senate, Blinken told lawmakers he would support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people, including allowing the pride flag at US embassies, appointing an LGBTQ envoy, and rejecting the findings of a Trump administration "Commission on Unalienable Rights" which human rights scholars saw as a threat to LGBTQ and abortion rights. An envoy is yet to be named.
Under the Trump administration, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blocked US embassies from flying the Pride flag on the same pole as the US flag, saying the American flag should fly alone.
The New York Times further reported that State Department officials were told that when making decisions at their outposts to support LGBTQ rights, they should ensure that the policy of "do no harm" is followed in order to prevent a backlash against the local LGBTQ population.
Some embassies hoisted rainbow flags during Pride Month without authorization, The Washington Post reported in 2019. (ANI)