Washington D.C., May 6, 2021 / 20:00 pm
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is allowing U.S. diplomatic posts around the world to fly the LGBT “Pride” flag on the same flagpole as the U.S. flag during “Pride season.”
In a cable first reported by Foreign Policy magazine on April 22, Blinken granted U.S. diplomatic outposts “blanket written authorization ... to display the Pride flag on the external-facing flagpole, for the duration of the 2021 Pride season.”
The authorization was given to fly the flag before May 17, which is observed as the international day against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, Foreign Policy reported. June, during which embassies can also fly the “Pride” flag on the external flagpole, is celebrated as “Pride” month by people identifying as LGBT.
In 2019, U.S. embassies were reportedly prohibited from flying the “Pride” flag on embassy flagpoles, and had to obtain permission to do so. They were allowed to display the flag inside buildings. In his confirmation hearing in January, Blinken had promised to change that policy.
Earlier this week, the White House said that President Joe Biden has used “the bully pulpit” to promote “transgender rights.”
At last week’s address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden had told “transgender Americans” that “your President has your back.” When on May 4 asked how Biden might act on that promise in the future, White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded that he has already acted on it.
“He's also used the power of the bully pulpit in his presidency to convey that transgender rights are human rights,” Psaki said, noting that Biden also “has signed executive orders.”
In January, Biden signed an executive order interpreting sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. He said his administration’s “policy” would be to extend federal civil rights protections to these two classes.