Nepal embassy staff. Twitter photo
At this appalling point, we probably shouldn't be surprised that a regime of unrepentant white supremacists, homophobic evangelical Christians and garden-variety bigots chose to mark Pride Month by banning the traditional flying of rainbow flags at U.S. embassies around the world - an action that under Obama had become "a routine thing that happens every year." That was, of course, before we had an alleged president who wants to ban trans people from the military and remove LGBTQ legal protections and block adoptions by same-sex parents, and who chose as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a devout gay-hater who opposes "shocking" same-sex marriage because only men and women should marry, who proposed legislation allowing discrimination against gay customers, who's launching a new "human rights" panel focused on "natural law" - bigot speak for "eww no faggots please," and who sure as hell doesn't want any nefarious rainbow-peace-and-love-themed flags fluttering over foreign countries and suggesting America is all touchy and feely and tolerant and stuff. No way, said like-minded right-wingers, who applauded the move to ban a symbol "offensive to Christians."
Yes way, said Americans who argued it's only offensive to "bigoted Christians." Despite the blanket denial of requests from embassies to fly the rainbow flag, many went rogue in what one staffer calls "a category one insurrection" - flying it below the Stars and Stripes, hanging it on buildings, assembling rainbow lightshows, marching in Pride parades from Israel to Latvia to Brazil. The embassy in Seoul put a rainbow flag on its building, as did the consulate in Chennai, India; the embassy in New Delhi sports rainbow lights; embassy staff in Nepal gathered for pride photos and balloons; Vienna's Facebook celebrates Pride 2019, and its website honors “Diplomats for Equality"; the US ambassador to Germany, an actual gay person and a Republican - no, we have no idea how that works - hung a banner, marched in the parade, and is hosting several pride events, though he still laments the no-flag rule. Get over it, retorts famed homophobe and zombie husband Mike Pence, who defends the ban as the right decision: "When it comes to the American flagpole, one American flag flies." Last week, Pence turned 60; in his honor, a group of drag queens made a short, heartfelt, Marilyn-Monroe-to-JFK-parody video to wish him a happy birthday and urge supporters to donate to LGBTQ causes - proving, if there was ever any doubt, they are infinitely better human beings than he is, than they all are.
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India's US embassy. Twitter screenshot
Pride Parade in Chile/AP photo
Pride Parade in New York/Getty image