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Mike Pence: No LGBTQ Pride flags on US embassies is correct decision



Vice President Mike Pence has defended a State Department ban on US embassies and diplomatic missions flying the rainbow flag to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month.

In an interview with NBC News broadcast Monday he confirmed earlier reports that the State Department had denied requests from several US embassies around the world — including in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia — to fly the pride flag this month.

The embassies had been allowed to fly the flag while Barack Obama was president.

Pence told NBC News: “I’m 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.”

A rainbow flag and a US flag at the Stonewall National Monument in New York City on June 4, 2019.
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty

When asked whether the decision “runs counter” to President Donald Trump’s tweets two weeks ago honoring Pride Month, Pence said: “As the president said on the night we were elected, we’re proud to be able to serve every American.”

“We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, having one American flag fly, I think is the right decision.”

Pence at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February 2018.
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Pence, a conservative evangelical Christian, has a long history of undermining the LGBTQ community.

In 2000, during his first run for Congress, Pence suggested that federal money used to fund HIV/AIDS research should be diverted to “conversion therapy” programs which attempt to change people’s sexual orientation.

In 2010, he voted against repealing the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prevented LGBT Americans serving openly in the military.

He has also repeatedly insisted that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman.

Read more: A look inside the daily life of US Vice President Mike Pence, who loves popcorn, bikes miles at a time, and winds down on Friday with pizza and non-alcoholic beer

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds an LGBT rainbow flag in Greeley, Colorado, in October 2016. He honored the LGBTQ community ahead of Pride Month this year.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite the Trump administration’s new rules about flying the rainbow flag this month, US embassies and diplomatic missions displayed the rainbow flag anyway, Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger reported.

Read more: Some US embassies are still flying LGBTQ pride flags despite Trump administration advisory against it

This weekend the US embassy building in Seoul, South Korea, and the US consul general’s office in Chennai, India, displayed the rainbow flag outside their buildings — though not on their flagpoles.

The US embassy in New Delhi, India, also lit up with rainbow colored lights.

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