U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv Decorates for Pride After Trump Ban on Flying Rainbow Flag

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Tweet from the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem about pride decorations in Tel Aviv, June 13, 2019
Tweet from the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem about pride decorations in Tel Aviv, June 13, 2019Credit: Screen grab

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem's official Twitter account announced on Thursday that their Tel Aviv "branch office" was decorating with the rainbow flag for Pride Month, a day before the Tel Aviv Pride Parade. The account tweeted, "The U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv is ready for the PRIDE parade tomorrow!"

The Donald Trump administration issued an official ban on U.S. embassies flying the rainbow flag on their flagpoles this year.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday defended the Trump administration’s decision in an interview on NBC News.  Pence was reacting to reports that at least four U.S. embassies – in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia – were explicitly denied permission to fly the pride flag.

U.S. diplomats in Jerusalem reportedly joined the Pride March in the city last week and other embassies around the world are decorating with pride colors.

Vice President Mike Pence On Pride Flag At Embassies: I Support ‘One Flag Should Fly’ | NBC News

Richard Grenell, the openly gay U.S. ambassador to Germany, is spearheading an American campaign to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.

A gay pride flag is hoisted beneath a U.S. flag at the Tel Aviv embassy during a 2014 Gay Pride event.Credit: AFP

"The president's recognition of Pride Month and his tweet encouraging our decriminalization campaign 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 Friday in a statement to NBC News.

Pence told NBC on Tuesday that he was aware the State Department had ordered that the American flag be the only flag flying on the flagpole, adding, "I support that." Pence, a devout Christian, has long been criticized for his record on LGBTQ rights, including from when he was governor of Indiana and a congressman.

"As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American," Pence claimed when pushed to address concerns from the LGBTQ community on the issue.

"We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies," concluded Pence.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his support for pride month on at the end of May praising the “outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation”.

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