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White House criticizes GOP over funding provision that effectively bans Pride flags over US embassies

The White House on Sunday attacked congressional Republicans for pushing a provision in the government funding bill that limits which flags can be flown above US embassies, effectively banning LGBTQ flags.
“President Biden believes it was inappropriate to abuse the process that was essential to keep the government open by including this policy targeting LGBTQI+ Americans,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement.
“While it will have no impact on the ability of members of the LGBTQI+ community to serve openly in our embassies or to celebrate Pride, the Administration fought against the inclusion of this policy and we will continue to work with members of Congress to find an opportunity to repeal it,” the spokesperson said.
The White House’s criticism was reported by Bloomberg on Saturday.
The measure permits only certain flags to be flown over US embassies, including the US flag, US Foreign Service flag, POW/MIA flag, Hostage and Wrongful Detainee flag, flag of a state, “insular area” or DC, Indian tribal government flag, the official branded flag of a US agency, and the sovereign flag of another nation.
The provision, which was negotiated by congressional appropriators, does not include language restricting what flags can be flown elsewhere on embassy grounds or in offices.
“The flag provision would continue to allow pride flags to be present in almost all cases at embassies, except flown *over* the exterior of the building. It doesn’t limit a flag on, in front of, inside, at workspaces, etc,” Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Brandon Wolf said in a statement posted on X.
Wolf said the provision amounts to “spin” from Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, whom he called “desperate to appease a base whose agenda is a unmitigated disaster.”
The White House spokesperson added that it was “successful” in preventing over 50 other policy provisions targeting the LGBTQ community that Republicans had sought to insert into the legislation.
“President Biden is committed to fighting for LGBTQI+ equality at home and abroad,” the spokesperson said..
While the State Department under Donald Trump rejected requests from embassies to raise the Pride flag, Secretary of State Antony Blinken authorized US diplomatic missions to raise the flag above embassies and consulates across the world in 2021. Many US embassies fly the Pride flag during the month of June, which is recognized as Pride Month in the United States and other countries.



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