US to ban LGBTQ flags from embassies – Bloomberg — RT World News



American embassies around the world will not be able to fly the rainbow, Progress or Black Lives Matter banners this summer, Bloomberg has reported. The White House agreed to the prohibition to get a $1.2 trillion spending bill through Congress.

The bill, passed on Friday morning, keeps the US government open through September 30, the end of the 2024 fiscal year.

The spending deal has been heavily criticized by some Republican legislators, who argued that it funds all of the ruling Democrats’ priorities and removes any policy leverage from the House of Representatives.

House Speaker Mike Johnson – a Louisiana Republican – has presented the flag amendment as a major victory. Meanwhile, the Democrats have used it to accuse the GOP of being mean and “homophobic.”

“[The] Republican Party loves nothing more than to demagogue at the expense of LGBTQ Americans,” Congressman Ritchie Torres of New York said on Friday. “I support funding the federal government. So we’re held hostage by the extremism of the Republican Party.”

One Democrat familiar with the deal told Bloomberg that the ban applies to any banners other than the national flag, exempts the POW-MIA banners traditionally flown to commemorate missing prisoners from the Vietnam War, and does not apply to “embassy officials’ personal use.” It would also expire on September 30, along with the spending bill.

Washington’s embrace of the Pride flag dates back to the first term of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department (2009-2013). The Trump administration (2017-2021) reserved the official flagpoles for Old Glory alone, but did not stop embassies from flying the rainbow banner as a provocation – in Moscow in June 2020, for example.

Since 2021, however, the State Department has promoted both the Pride flag and the Black Lives Matter banner, both at embassies abroad and at its Washington headquarters

In May 2021, the Republicans proposed the ‘Stars and Stripes Act’ that would ban any other flags from official embassy flagpoles. The following month, the US embassy to the Vatican hung a massive Pride flag on the outside of its building and boasted about it on social media, insisting that “LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.”


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