June 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
State Department human rights bureau acknowledges Pride month
reparations, gay news, Washington Blade
(Photo by Hai Yang via Flickr)

The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on Monday publicly acknowledged Pride month.

“The U.S. stands in solidarity with human rights defenders working around the world to protect fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons and communities,” it said in a tweet. “All people are endowed with unalienable human rights and every government is obligated to provide equal protection under the law.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has yet to publicly acknowledge Pride month, even though a number of embassies have done so.

The U.S. Embassy in Russia draped a Pride flag on the side of its building in Moscow.

“Today we conclude the celebration of Pride month,” said the embassy in Russian on its Twitter page. “But we continue to protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of all people around the world. Rights for LGBT people are human rights. Human rights are universal. It’s so simple.”

The U.S. Embassy in Lithuania on its Twitter page currently has the rainbow and transgender Pride flags as is banner picture. Ambassador Robert Gilchrist, one of five openly gay men who represent the U.S. abroad as ambassadors, on Monday participated in an Atlantic Council Pride month event.

The State Department has repeatedly told the Washington Blade the U.S. continues to focus its LGBTQ-specific foreign policy efforts on decriminalizing consensual same-sex sexual relations and reducing violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The White House in 2019 tapped outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to lead an initiative that encourages countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. Activists nevertheless continue to sharply criticize the Trump administration’s LGBTQ rights record, which includes the State Department’s controversial Commission on Unalienable Rights that Pompeo created last year.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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