July 26, 2018 at 2:31 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
New GOP bill would ban flying of Pride flag at U.S. embassies
Vietnam, gay news, Washington Blade

The U.S. embassy in Vietnam flies the Pride flag, which would be banned under a new proposal from Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.). (Photo courtesy of Clayton Bond)

A Republican lawmaker in the U.S. House has introduced legislation that appears to be aimed at barring U.S. embassies from flying the Pride flag in recognition of the LGBT community.

With little fanfare last week, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) quietly introduced the measure, which seeks to “prohibit the flying of any flag other than the United States flag over United States diplomatic and consular posts, and for other purposes.”

Although the title of the legislation is public, the full text of the legislation isn’t online at the Library of Congress website. Duncan’s office didn’t respond to the Washington Blade’s comment for information.

Ian Thompson, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said based on the title of the legislation, the measure seems aimed at barring U.S. embassies from flying Pride flags.

“I don’t believe it is specific to rainbow/Pride flags, but that is clearly the motivation for this ridiculous, petty bill,” Thompson said. “It is telling that many of the most doggedly anti-LGBTQ members of the House of Representatives are co-sponsors.”

The bill has 33 co-sponsors, many of whom with notoriously anti-LGBT records, including Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

The flying of Pride flags at U.S. embassies has become common as a sign of U.S. solidarity with the LGBT community overseas. Days ago, the U.S. embassy in Belize raised the Pride flag in support of LGBT people in that country, according to a local Channel 5 Belize TV news report.

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Duncan said the legislation is attempt to maintain focus on the U.S. flags at posts overseas.

“The United States flag is the single greatest symbol of freedom the world has ever known, and there’s no reason for anything but Old Glory to be flying over our embassies and posts around the globe,” Duncan said.

The Blade has placed a request in with the State Department seeking comment on the legislation.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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