On Tuesday, the U.S. embassy to the Vatican flew an “LGBTQI+” flag in support of “Pride” month, an ultimate sign of disrespect to the Catholic Church, which views pride as one of the seven deadly sins.
According to the Catholic News Agency:
“The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights,” the embassy stated on Twitter.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this year announced that U.S. embassies and consulates around the world could fly the “Pride” flag on the same flagpole as the American flag, during “Pride season.”
The authorization to fly the flag – which was not a mandate – was given ahead of May 17, observed as the international day against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. June, during which embassies can also fly the “Pride” flag on the external flagpole, is celebrated as “Pride” month by people identifying as LGBT.
Under the Trump administration, U.S. diplomatic outposts were reportedly prohibited from flying the rainbow flag from embassy flagpoles, and had to obtain special permission to do so. They were allowed to display the flag inside buildings.
Antony Blinken’s cable on “Pride” flags, first reported by Foreign Policy magazine in April, advised that diplomatic posts in certain countries should avoid flying the rainbow flag if doing so would create a backlash.
Also on Tuesday, President Joe Biden, the second Catholic president in U.S. history, issued a statement on June 1 for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021.”
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June. The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. pic.twitter.com/Xentlnr16E
— U.S. in Holy See (@USinHolySee) June 1, 2021
It is unclear if Pope Francis or any other representatives of the Holy See will denounce the flying of the flag at the embassy, although it is sure to cause backlash from the Catholic community.