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‘Not a good look’: US Embassy in Vatican flies LGBT pride flag, offending Catholics

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The State Department’s woke foreign policy crusade has reached the Vatican, as the US Embassy to the Holy See tripled down on celebrating LGBTQI+ Pride Month, both on social media and by hoisting the rainbow flag.

“The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights,” the embassy declared on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram on Tuesday, showing a photo of Pride flag hanging off the front facade and announcing it will be there “during the month of June.”

Before that, the embassy had tweeted a photo of the White House lit up in rainbow flag colors. Its next tweet was a link to a statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, celebrating June as Pride Month.

“The [State] Department has committed to increasing U.S. engagement on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) human rights issues abroad,” Blinken said, adding, “We recognize that, through these partnerships, we will be able to build a safer, more inclusive global society for all LGBTQI+ persons.

Response on all social media platforms has been overwhelmingly negative. Roman Catholics took the flag as an insult, as June is the month they have dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

“Difficult to view this as anything other than a deliberate, provocative insult to traditional Catholicism,” wrote Newsweek editor Josh Hammer. “Not a good look.”

Others wondered if the same flag was being flown at the US embassies in Muslim countries – in many of which homosexuality is punishable by death – and questioned the Catholicism of current US President Joe Biden as no more than a shield from criticism.

The US Embassy in Riyadh has not hoisted the Pride flag, at least not according to its Twitter feed. It did declare loyalty to the State Department’s diversity agenda of Black Lives Matter last week, on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death – as did the one in the Vatican – but neither openly flew the BLM flag, unlike many other US embassies across the world.

Blinken had authorized – but not ordered – US embassies to raise the BLM flag last week, following April’s memo approving the use of official flagpoles to display the Pride banner.

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The US’ open embrace of the flag and the LGBT agenda dates back to the tenure of Hillary Clinton at Foggy Bottom, in the first term of Barack Obama’s administration. For all of the furor by the Democrats that President Donald Trump was somehow against LGBT rights, his administration championed them with equal zeal – such as in Moscow last summer – but reserved the official flagpoles for the US flag alone.

In response to the BLM flag push, half a dozen Republican lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban the embassies from displaying “inherently political flags that are in no way affiliated with the US Government,” but their bill is unlikely to go anywhere in a Democrat-controlled Congress.

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While the Vatican has not yet reacted to the Pride flag, its display is a marked departure from the previous ambassador’s tenure. In June 2020, Pope Francis bestowed upon Callista Gingrich – wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and a devout Catholic – a knighthood in the Order of Pius IX. Following her departure in January, the embassy has been run by the charge d’affaires, Patrick Connell, a career foreign service officer and a Democrat.

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