14 June 2019

Africa: Pride Month - U.S. Embassies Defy State Department and Fly Rainbow Flag - but Not in South Africa

Photo: ILO
The rainbow flag, commonly the gay pride flag and LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride.

The US Embassy in South Africa is not flying the rainbow flag to celebrate June as LGBT Pride Month -- as some other US embassies around the world are doing, in apparent defiance of State Department policy.

US embassies and other missions used routinely to celebrate LGBT Pride Month by flying the flag, the Washington Post reported. The Obama administration had even given instructions to embassies on how to fly the rainbow flag -- always smaller than the Stars and Stripes and below it.

But now US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- "an evangelical Christian who believes marriage should be defined as between a man and woman" -- had issued a policy that embassies required permission from head office to celebrate LGBT Pride Month in this way. The paper said all such requests had been denied in 2019.

The paper reported, however, that several diplomats had been finding ways to defy or at least circumvent Pompeo's policy. It said the US missions in Seoul, South Korea and Chennai, India, were flying large rainbow flags, the embassy in New Delhi was lit by rainbow coloured lights, while the website for the embassy in Santiago, Chile, was showing a video of...


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