Politics

U.S. embassies have flown the Pride flag in some of the most anti-LGBTQ countries on Earth this year

The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is flying the rainbow flag for Pride month
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is flying the rainbow flag for Pride monthPhoto: Twitter

United States embassies are flying the rainbow flag to honor Pride Month in some of the most anti-LGBTQ countries on the planet under the Biden administration.

The flag even went up under the stars and stripes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week. Homosexuality is illegal in the religiously conservative country and punishable with prison time, chemical castration, public flogging, or even death.

Related: The very first rainbow Pride flags were thought to be gone. Until now.

“On the anniversary of Stonewall, a milestone in the American civil rights movement, the U.S. Mission shows its support for the dignity and equality of all people,” the embassy tweeted with a photo of the flag flying high and staff posing inside the building.

While the backlash from some politicians and conservatives was swift, the government has so far refused to comment. The country has been courting international investors lately, but many remain concerned with the country’s atrocious record on human rights and adherence to Sharia law in some areas.

The Pride flag also flew in Afghanistan this year.

“The month of June is recognized as (LGBTI) Pride Month,” the embassy tweeted. “The United States respects the dignity & equality of LGBTI people & celebrates their contributions to the society. We remain committed to supporting civil rights of minorities, including LGBTI persons.” They closed with the hashtags #Pride2021 and #PrideMonth.

Even the Holy See, the home of the Catholic church, got a Pride flag this year when the US embassy displayed a large rainbow inside the Vatican City.

“The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June,” they tweeted with a photo of the flag. “The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people.”

“LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.”

American Bishops have been some of the most vocally anti-LGBTQ activists in the nation – going so far as to threaten to deny communion to pro-LGBTQ politicians. A Catholic foster agency just won a Supreme Court case that allows them to discriminate against LGBTQ parents and the church has been behind the push to expand “religious freedom” exemptions that would give businesses a license to discriminate against queer people.

The British embassy also hoisted the Pride flag in the UAE this year, tweeting a photo of their display along with their support for queer rights.

“June is #PrideMonth and around the world we celebrate the equality and visibility of #LGBT+ people. Today, we are flying the rainbow flag to affirm our pride in the UK’s diversity and our values of equality, inclusion and freedom,” they tweeted with the hashtag #Pride2021.

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