Vice President Mike Pence voiced support Monday for the Trump administration’s move to prohibit U.S. embassies from flying the rainbow pride flag on their flagpoles during LGBTQ Pride Month, telling NBC News that “it’s the right decision.”
In an interview with White House correspondent Kristen Welker, Pence confirmed an exclusive report from NBC News that said the State Department had rejected requests from at least four U.S. embassies to fly the flag during June. Pence said he was aware the State Department had said the American flag was the only flag that should fly on the flagpoles, and he added, “I support that.”
“As the president said on the night we were elected, we’re proud to be able to serve every American,” Pence said when pressed about what he would say to the LGBTQ community that feels the decision runs counter to President Donald Trump celebrating pride month in a tweet.
“We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies,” the vice president added.
Pence said that the Trump administration had “put no restrictions” on the pride flag or other flags flying elsewhere at U.S. embassies.
This month, American diplomatic posts have been flying the pride flag inside embassies or putting banners up on the exterior walls of buildings, but requests to put it on the embassy flagpole as was done in years past have been rejected.
LGBTQ rights groups and some U.S. diplomats have raised concerns about the decision, arguing that it contradicts the Trump administration’s claim to be a leader in promoting rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people around the world.
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, one of the ambassadors whose requests to fly the pride flag were rejected by Washington, is leading an administration campaign to decriminalize homosexuality around the world, and this month Trump even tweeted in support of LGBTQ Pride Month and the decriminalization campaign.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Kristen Welker and Josh Lederman