U.S. embassies in Germany, Israel, Brazil and Latvia requested permission from the State Department to fly the rainbow flag on their flagpoles and were denied, NBC News reported Friday, citing three unidentified American diplomats.
When the U.S. Embassy in Berlin asked to fly the rainbow flag during the city’s Pride week at the end of June, as it does every year, this time “an email was sent back from State’s Management office, saying no. Denied,” one of two unnamed senior State Department officials told CNN.
Nonetheless, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who is gay, told CNN he plans to hang a “huge banner on the side of the Embassy” during Pride Month.
“The President’s recognition of Pride Month and his tweet encouraging our decriminalization campaign gives me even more pride to once again march in the Berlin Pride parade, hang a huge banner on the side of the Embassy recognizing our pride, host multiple events at the Embassy and the residence, and fly the gay pride flag,” Grenell said.
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin also released a statement of strong LGBTQ support in May to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Embassies told CNN and NBC News they plan to fly the flag elsewhere on their grounds, as they need State Department permission to fly banners other than the American flag on their main poles.
The Trump administration claims to support LGBTQ rights abroad. President Donald Trump issued a statement for Pride earlier this month that called on other countries to decriminalize homosexuality, saying: “Let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
However, the Trump administration has repeatedly sought to roll back LGBTQ rights for Americans, including rescinding protections for transgender students that had barred schools from discriminating based on kids’ gender identities, banning trans people from serving in the military and removing other protections.
HuffPost reached out to the White House and the State Department, as well as several U.S. embassies, but did not immediately receive responses.