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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Rep. Meng: Mr. Secretary, let the Pride Flag Fly Proudly at All U.S. Embassies!

Jun 11, 2019
Press Release
Congresswoman leads 50 Members of Congress in letter to Secretary of State Pompeo urging him to allow U.S. Embassies to fly rainbow flags in honor of LGBT Pride Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing concern about the State Department’s rejection of requests by U.S. Embassies to fly rainbow flags in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

Meng’s letter urges the State Department to reverse its position and immediately allow Pride flags to be flown.

“The Trump Administration’s quiet efforts to undermine America’s international support for LGBT rights is deeply discomforting and sends the wrong message to LGBT Americans about our moral compass,” said Meng. “June is LGBT Pride Month and it is a time to reaffirm our commitment to LGBT rights at home and abroad. Simple acts of solidarity, such as flying the Pride flag, demonstrate our resolve to be a beacon of hope for those who reside in hostile environments for LGBT individuals. We shouldn’t backtrack on LGBT rights; we should march forward and pursue efforts that strengthen LGBT rights at home and abroad. Mr. Secretary, let the Pride flag fly proudly at all U.S. Embassies!”

The text of Meng’s correspondence to Secretary Pompeo is below and a copy of the letter can be viewed here.

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June 11, 2019

The Honorable Mike R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

We are highly concerned by the Department’s rejection of requests by U.S. Embassies to fly rainbow flags in honor of LGBT Pride Month. This policy denies U.S. missions the opportunity to show support for the LGBT community – both in country and within the walls of our embassies. We strongly urge the State Department to reverse its position and immediately allow for these flags to be flown.

In too many countries around the world, LGBT individuals are systematically discriminated against, and receive no protection from law enforcement. To bar this flag from U.S. Embassies is to condone the discriminatory policies of many countries around the world. In 2018, all requests for permission to display rainbow pride flags were granted. In 2019, all requests for permission have been denied. This sharp pivot in the implementation of this policy is concerning and contradicts the diplomatic corps’ work to support LGBT rights overseas.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to your prompt response.