Pride flags are flying at U.S. embassies across the world during this year’s Pride month following a cable from Secretary of State Antony Blinken that lifted a ban put in place by the Trump administration.
Blinken’s cable noted Pride displays should be at the discretion of the embassy and that decision should take into account if the local LGBTQ+ population would be negatively affected by such actions, reported The New York Times.
During his confirmation hearing, Blinken had promised to rescind the Trump’s policy on the Pride flag, according to ABC News.
Now, even embassies in countries with populations who hold strong anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes are displaying Pride flags to support equality.
The Twitter account of the U.S. embassy in Vatican City posted a photo of a flag hanging on its building. In the accompanying tweet the embassy wrote, “The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June. The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.”
The Catholic Church announced that it wouldn’t bless same-sex unions — a policy that some members of the church have protested against.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the U.S. embassy draped a rainbow flag from its roof and flew one under the American flag for June. The Balkan country held its first Pride parade in 2019 after years of failed Pride events due to anti-LGBTQ+ violence.
The embassy in Sarajevo tweeted, “We support the increased visibility and empowerment of queer women, transgender and other gender diverse people, intersex people, and all LGBTQI+ communities. #YouAreIncluded.”
On Tuesday, several GOP lawmakers announced they had added their names to a bill that would again ban flying the Pride flag at embassies.
According to Blinken’s cable, embassies and consulates could begin displaying the Pride flag beginning before May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and can fly it through June.