On Monday Vice President Mike Pence defended the State Department’s decision to bar U.S. embassies from flying the rainbow flags during LGBTQ Pride Month, claiming that it was the “right” move.

When asked during an interview with NBC whether this decision ran counter to the president’s support of Pride Month, Pence answered that while he and Donald Trump were “proud to be able to serve every American,” he backed the ban on flying rainbow flags at embassies. “We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole and American embassies and capitals around the world, having the one American flag fly is the right decision,” said the vice president.

The State Department also defended its position in a press release from spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus: “The secretary [of state] has the position that, as it relates to the flagpole, that only the American flag should be flown there.”

It was reported last week that the Trump Administration had rejected requests from at least four U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow flag on the flagpole in honor of Pride Month. Germany, Latvia, Israel, and Bolivia were among the embassies that received denials.


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In response to this policy, many U.S. embassies chose to display their support of the LGBTQ community in other ways. U.S. buildings in Seoul, South Korea, and Chennai, India, sent out press releases which featured the rainbow pride flag hanging outside of the embassies. Other U.S. missions chose to put the flag on their building’s facade.

The Trump Administration predictably diverged from the previous policy of the Obama Administration. During the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, the only regulations on flying the rainbow flag were that it had to be smaller than, and fly beneath the American flag. Other than that, it was up to each ambassador whether or not to display the pride flag.

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