The United States has reversed another Donald Trump era ban, just in time for IDAHOBIT in May and Pride month celebrations in June.  The Joe Biden administration has authorised US embassies across the world to fly the rainbow Pride flag on the embassy or consulate flag poles along with the American flag. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a confidential cable to diplomatic posts around the world authorised diplomats to fly the Rainbow Pride flag, Foreign Policy reported last week. 

The cable says that the chiefs of the mission can choose to fly the Pride flag or any other symbol that is “appropriate in light of local conditions”  that shows support for LGBTQI+ rights.

The cable also asked the missions abroad to follow the “do no harm” policy so that there was no backlash against the local LGBTQI+ population in these countries. 



“Posts should support efforts to repeal (criminalization) legislation, while ensuring that ‘do no harm’ remains our overarching principle so U.S. efforts do not inadvertently result in backlash or further marginalization of the LGBTQI+ community,” the cable said. 

The document encouraged US missions to organise policy and events around International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia on May 17 and Pride month in June.

The decision was welcomed as a progressive move. “I applaud Secretary Blinken’s decision to demonstrate our solidarity with the LGBTQ community around the world. The United States continues to show the world that embracing diversity and promoting inclusion strengthens us as a nation,” said US Senator Cory Booker. 

Trump Era Ban Reversed

During the Trump Presidency and under Mike Pompeo, requests by embassies to fly the Pride flag on the same flag pole as the American flag had been rejected. The alternative was to display the American flag in another area. In 2019, then Vice President Mike Pence had defended the decision saying only the American flag should fly on the flag pole.

It was not long before the latest pro-LGBTQI+ decision by the Biden administration came in for criticism from conservatives. 

Former GOP house speaker Newt Gingrich, termed the decision to allow the flying of Pride flags anti-American. “It is attacking people of traditional values who are appalled that this administration would fly the gay Pride flag at American embassies all over the world,” Gingrich said on Fox News. 

The Biden-Harris administration has enacted a series of policies to protect LGBTQI+ people and reverse many of Trump’s policies that harmed the LGBTQI+ communities, including the ban on transgender persons from serving in the military. Biden also picked openly gay Pete Buttigieg to be his Secretary of Transport and trans woman Dr Rachel Levine as his Assistant health secretary.




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