American News Jun 22, 2021 6:31 AM EST

Blinken announces US embassies to fly LGBTQ ‘Progress’ flags

The Secretary’s comments came two weeks after the Defense Department announced that it will not allow the Pride flag to be flown at installations under its purview.

Blinken announces US embassies to fly LGBTQ ‘Progress’ flags
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Monday that the US State Department including American embassies around the world will fly the 'Progress Flag,' also known as the Pride Flag, in honor of Pride month traditionally celebrated in around the world in June.

Blinken made the comments during an event discussing issues concerning the LBGTQ community hosted by the Atlantic Council, a think tank that focuses on foreign policy. During the program, he was asked if he will allow American embassies to fly Progress flags.

"We’ve made that clear and we’ve given our chiefs of missions and ambassadors authority to do that."

The Secretary’s comments came two weeks after the Defense Department announced that it will not allow the Pride flag to be flown at installations under its purview, after the Biden administration reversed an order issued by former President Donald Trump's then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on flying the Pride flag at some United States embassies, including in India and Australia.

Overturning the Trump-era policy on the matter, Foreign Policy reported in April that Blinken authorized diplomats to fly the Pride flag before May 17, which marks the international day against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, and through June.

Pride flags were permitted the Obama administration, as long as they were smaller and flown beneath the American flag. Former President Donald Trump’s administration banned US embassies and consulates from flying the rainbow LGBT flags.

Earlier this month, a leaked memo revealed that the Biden administration authorized the display of Black Lives Matter flags at state department buildings including embassies to commemorate the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death that sparked outrage.

In response, Rep. Nicole Milliotakis (R-NY) introduced new legislation, dubbed the "Stars and Stripes Act" that would ban Black Lives Matter among other "political" flags, apart from the American flag, from flying at United States embassies.

Blinken said the Progress Flag would be flown between June 26 and 28 to "mark a couple of important turning points in our history for LGBTQI rights."

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