Vice President Mike Pence is defending the Trump administration’s ban on flying the gay pride rainbow flag on embassy flagpoles, as was allowed under the Obama administration.
Embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia made requests to the State Department to be allowed to fly the flag, but all were denied.
NBC News asked Pence if the decision runs counter to President Trump celebrating June as LGBT Pride Month.
Pence said he was “aware that the State Department indicated that on the flagpole of our American embassies that one flag should fly, and that’s the American flag. And I support that.”
The issue, Pence indicated, is not about LGBT rights.
“As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American. And we both feel that way very passionately,” Pence said. “But when it comes to the American flagpole at American embassies in capitals around the world, having the one American flag fly I think is the right decision.
“And we put no restrictions on displaying any other flags or any other displays at our embassies beyond that.”
As Christian Headlines previously reported, embassies in Germany, Israel and Nepal celebrated LGBT Pride Month without flying the gay pride flag on flagpoles.
“The pride flag will be on as many places as it can at the Embassy,” a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin told NBC News.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel sent a delegation to the Jerusalem gay pride parade. Randy Berry, ambassador to Nepal, tweeted: “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.” The tweet showed a picture of Berry with a group of people under a “Pride 19” sign.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Ethan Miller/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.