Mar 24, 2024 - Politics & Policy

White House says it will fight ban on flying pride flags above U.S. embassies

An LGBTQ+ pride flag hangs over the U.S. Embassy in Turkey

A pride flag is hung on the U.S. Embassy building in Ankara, Turkey. Photo: Altan Gocher/GocherImagery/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The White House is vowing to repeal a provision banning U.S. embassies from flying LGBTQ+ pride flags.

The big picture: The ban was layered in the $1.2 trillion spending package signed by President Biden on Saturday and marks a reversal from the State Department's authorization in 2021 of U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world to fly pride flags.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for the White House told Axios in a statement that Biden "believes it was inappropriate to abuse the process that was essential to keep the government open by including this policy targeting LGBTQI+ Americans."

  • The spokesperson added that 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."
  • "We were successful in defeating 50+ other policy riders attacking the LGBTQI+ community that Congressional Republicans attempted to insert into the legislation. President Biden is committed to fighting for LGBTQI+ equality at home and abroad," they said.

Between the lines: The over 1,000-page package states that "none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated or expended to fly or display a flag over a facility of the United States Department of State" apart from the ones listed, none of which mention the pride flag.

Zoom out: Attempts to ban LGBTQ+ pride flags in government buildings and schools have also hit at state and local levels, including in Florida.

Go deeper: Florida's flag bill stalls as culture war legislation loses momentum

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