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Gizzi: Flap About Gay Pride Flag At Embassies Hurts GOP

Gizzi: Flap About Gay Pride Flag At Embassies Hurts GOP

(Press Association via AP)

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Sunday, 09 June 2019 10:10 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Five days after President Trump issued a statement hailing Gay Pride Month and calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality abroad, the Administration found itself embroiled in a controversy over its refusal to permit the “rainbow pride flag” to be flown over U.S. embassies overseas.

The flag, a symbol of gay people worldwide, is permitted to be displayed on the grounds and exterior walls of embassies. Although the flag was flown during the Obama years, the State Department under Secretary Mike Pompeo has declined to permit its raise on embassy flag poles.

U.S. diplomats in four countries—Brazil, Germany, Israel and Latvia—told reporters last week that their requests to fly the pride banner on the flagpoles of their embassies was turned down.

Ric Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany and the highest-ranked openly gay appointee of President Trump, is considered the leader of the movement to decriminalize homosexuality in 71 countries.

Along with the President, this movement has the support of Vice President Mike Pence. In a statement to NBC News Friday evening, Grenell praised the President’s support of decriminalization and his recognition of Pride Month.

“It 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.

This apparent contradiction between policy and the President’s words calling on Americans to “celebrate LGBT Pride Month” has been laid at the feet of Brian Bulatao, under secretary of state for management who made the key decision to keep the pride flag from flying with the U. S. flag. A source familiar with the controversy said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not make the decision, which was made by Bulatao.

Like Pompeo, Bulatao is a West Point graduate and formerly served as chief operating officer of the Central Intelligence Agency while Pompeo was its director. Bulatao was unavailable for comment over the weekend.

Ironically, the present controversy flared up just as the Log Cabin Republicans, the 30-year group representing LGBT Republicans, hailed Trump for becoming “the first Republican President to promote LGBT Pride Month as he touts [his] campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in 71 countries.”

“To have any president recognize Pride [Month] is important to my community,” Log Cabin President Jerri Ann Henry told the “Daily Mail” in a recent interview, “To have a Republican president recognize that is massive.”

But another recognized leader in the Republican gay community voiced its growing disappointment over the “flag flap” with Newsmax.

“How are nations around the world supposed to take seriously President Trump’s bold initiative to decriminalize homosexuality world wide when his own State Department denies US embassies permission to fly the PRIDE flag during Gay Pride Month?” said Brian O’Leary Bennett, former member of the California GOP Executive Committee and organizer of the first meeting of LGBT leaders with a Republican presidential candidate (George W. Bush in 2000).

Bennett added that the PRIDE flag is a powerful symbol of US commitment to global LGBTQ equality even more so when the world is so focused of America’s defense of individual freedom during this 75th anniversary of D-Day.”

Another Republican strategist told Newsmax he was perplexed by the State Dept. decision in “light of the tremendous gains the President has made with members of the gay community.”

“It can only hurt us in 2020,” he said.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reportsGo Here Now.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
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Five days after President Trump issued a statement hailing Gay Pride Month and calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality abroad, the Administration found itself embroiled in a controversy over its refusal to permit the "rainbow pride flag" to be flown over U.S....
lgbt, homosexuality, flag, trump, gay pride, embassy
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2019-10-09
Sunday, 09 June 2019 10:10 PM
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