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OpinionHow Trump is abandoning LGBTQ people over pride flags

23:35  11 june  2019
23:35  11 june  2019 Source:   cnn.com

Three men announce plans for "Straight Pride Parade"

Three men announce plans for "Demand an end to discrimination against straights. We also deserve a parade!"

This month, US embassies around the world received instructions not to raise a rainbow flag on public-facing flagpoles. This is an example of Trump doing what he thinks is best for him politically, regardless of the consequences for other people or for the country, writes Frida Ghitis.

How Trump is abandoning LGBTQ people over pride flags . "The secretary has the position," said Pompeo's spokeswoman, "as it I can't think of too many more disheartening messages to send to people , especially now. Under President Donald Trump , we've lost a lot of credibility around the world.

How Trump is abandoning LGBTQ people over pride flags© RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images A reveller waves a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia on June 30, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Raul ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

The United States has long played a decisive role in the global struggle against prejudice and discrimination. That's particularly true in the battle against homophobia, which continues to destroy lives in many countries. So, it came as a harsh blow this month when US embassies around the world received instructions from their bosses in Washington not to raise a rainbow flag – a symbol of gay rights – on the "public-facing flagpole" during this month's LGBT Pride celebrations.

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The Trump administration is rejecting requests to fly the Pride flag at these U.S. embassies. The State Dept has allowed other Pride displays to continue and these embassies and consulates are showing their support for the LGBTQ , meaning lesbian gay bisexual transgender and queer or

This is an example of Trump doing what he thinks is best for him politically, regardless of the consequences for other people or for the country, writes Frida Ghitis. This month, US embassies around the world received instructions not to raise a rainbow flag on public-facing flagpoles.

The flag might fly elsewhere, perhaps in an inner embassy courtyard, as if the US were embarrassed to stand up for equal rights.

The move is not just a casual, unimportant one. In scores of countries today, gays, lesbians and transgender people, and others who some may perceive as such, live in fear for their lives. The support from the most powerful nation on Earth provided solace, encouragement, and tacit protection.

But under President Donald Trump, the US government's position on the issue is a muddle of contradictions and disappointment.

Trump vowed to become a champion of gay rights during his convention speech in 2016. "As your president," he declared, "I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology." Once in the White House, however, he has shown his word is not his bond.

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The rainbow pride flag is flying inside embassies and on exterior walls, but has not been approved for the official embassy flagpoles. The administration is rejecting requests from U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow flag on flagpoles during June, LGBTQ Pride Month, say 3 U.S. diplomats.

The president acknowledged that June is Pride Month, and since doing so, has abandoned LGBTQ people all over the world and insulted the two things he claims to love the most: flags and the troops. Despite sending out a tweet, Trump 's bigotry didn't take the month off.

It's unclear whether this order to embassies comes from Trump or from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but it hardly matters. The Trump presidency has become a carnival of grotesqueries and ridiculous lies when it comes to transgender Americans, including those willing to die for their country by serving in the military. And his assaults have not affected only transgender people. He has eroded protections against gay federal employees, gay diplomats, and on and on and on.

At the same time, and perhaps confusingly to some, Trump has made some high-profile statements in favor of gay rights.

On May 31, he tweeted, "As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals.... on the basis of their sexual orientation."

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Trump admin tells U.S. embassies they can't fly pride flag on flagpoles 2019-06-07 2019-06-07. For the first time ever, Wisconsin is flying the rainbow pride flag over its The order came the same week that New York's state government also raised the rainbow flag over its Capitol for the first time.

“We sincerely doubt that this commission is being organized to ensure that the human rights of LGBTQ people and others who experience extreme violence and Under President Trump , the United States has not formally abandoned gay and transgender rights as a foreign policy imperative, but the quest

And he noted that his administration has launched a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.

Confused?

Is Trump homophobic or isn't he? Is the US' foreign policy to fight anti-gay laws around the world or isn't it?

What's likely happening here, as with so many other policy issues, is that Trump – and his administration – are doing what they think is best for him politically, regardless of the consequences for other people or for the country.

And, in a familiar pattern, the views of Trump's most ardent supporters seem to matter more than what is morally right, or what is advantageous for America. The decision to stop flying the rainbow flag was likely greeted with cheers by many in Trump's base. Prominent evangelist Franklin Graham, explained, "The gay pride flag is offensive to Christians ..." (apparently more offensive to Graham, a Trump supporter, than allegations that Trump had an affair with a porn actress while his wife was caring for their newborn son, or boasting of "grabbing" women; Trump has denied an affair with Stormy Daniels).

White House hopefuls target Trump for anti-LGBTQ policies

White House hopefuls target Trump for anti-LGBTQ policies Democratic White House hopefuls on Saturday attacked President Donald Trump as harmful to LGBTQ Americans and promised if elected they would not just restore gay rights but expand them.Speaking to a crowd gathered in front of the Iowa State Capitol as part of the Des Moines gay pride festivities, seven candidates went after the president and offered their visions for how their administrations would handle gay rights differently. "We now have a president who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a xenophobe, who is a religious bigot and who is a homophobe," Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said to cheers from the crowd.

But the decision to please the far right may backfire for Trump. Support for gay rights is widespread. According to Gallup poll data, only about 1 in 4 Americans say same-sex relations should be illegal.

That's a big change even from 2011, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the United Nations Human Rights Council, "Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct, but, in fact, they are one and the same."

That year, President Barack Obama issued a memo instructing all US agencies engaged abroad to "promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons." The US aimed to make supporting LGBTQ rights around the world an integral element of its foreign policy. Now, the Trump administration has even shut down the website that provided key information on the subject.

That's desperately depressing news for people in countries where you can still be sentenced to death for being gay, or where you can go to prison for belonging to a gay organization. As recently as January, for example, a gay man was executed in Iran for violating the nation's anti-gay laws. The possibility of attacking Iran on its homophobia, incidentally, could be the reason behind the White House's global campaign for decriminalization.

But when it comes to LGBTQ rights anywhere else, Trump is seemingly more interested in exciting the support of evangelical preachers than in keeping his word to the American people and America's pledge to be a champion against discrimination around the world.

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