On Friday, the Defense Department indicated that they don’t share Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s perspective on flying the LGBT pride flag, saying the Defense Department will not allow the flag to be flown at its installations to celebrate Pride month.
Defense Department spokesman John Kirby stated, “After some careful consideration the department will maintain the existing policy regarding the display” at military bases. “There won’t be an exception made for the Pride flag. This in no way reflects any lack of respect or admiration for the LGBTQ+ community. This was really more about the potential … for other challenges that could arise from that exception,” Fox News reported.
In April, Foreign Policy noted:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has issued a blanket authorization for U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world to fly the Pride flag on the same flagpole as the U.S. flag at their embassy or consulate showcasing support for LGBTQ rights. The directive marks a departure from how the Trump administration handled the matter while the State Department was run by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In a confidential cable reviewed by Foreign Policy and sent to diplomatic posts around the world, Blinken gave authority for diplomats to fly the Pride flag before May 17, which marks the international day against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, as well as June, which in the United States and many other countries is Pride month.
On May 25, Foreign Policy reported that Blinken gave U.S. embassies permission to fly the Black Lives Matter Flag:
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has authorized U.S. embassies around the world to fly Black Lives Matter (BLM) flags and banners, according to an internal cable reviewed by Foreign Policy, as part of the administration’s response to the one-year anniversary of the police murder of George Floyd that sparked international outrage and a nationwide reckoning on systemic racism.
The U.S. State Department cable gives chiefs of missions, who head U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, “blanket written authorization” to display BLM flags and banners as “appropriate in light of local conditions.” It stresses the directive is an “authorization, not a requirement.”
Fox News also noted that an internal State Department memo stated, “We encourage posts to focus on the need to eliminate systemic racism and its continued impact.”
Blinken’s decision on the BLM flag triggered commentator Candace Owens to charge, “The U.S. embassies are celebrating black death. The consequence of the Black Lives Matter movement — and I cringe when people call it Black Lives Matter protests, because, you know what, Tucker, it is Black Lives Matter riots. The cities burned for six weeks straight following the death of George Floyd. Black neighborhoods were rioted, they were looted and it led to more black death. Way more black Americans died during the Black Lives Matter riots than the one black American that was killed by a police officer that allegedly started this entire spree.”