Twitter | @GavinNewsom

California Governor Defies Trump By Flying Pride Flag At State Capitol

In what appears to be direct defiance of the Trump administration, there are now four states flying the rainbow flag over their Capitol buildings after California announced it would follow suit with Wisconsin, Colorado, and New York.

The move comes on the heels of news that the administration wouldn't be allowing U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow flag from their flagpoles in honor of Pride Month.

Under the Obama administration, U.S. embassies had blanket permission to fly the rainbow flag for the month of June.

However, things have changed under the Trump administration. In 2019, when embassies started asking the State Department for permission to fly the rainbow flag for Pride Month, as they must do to fly any flag other than the American flag, they were denied.

The ban on the rainbow flag was particularly jarring at the embassy in Berlin.

America's ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, also happens to be the Trump administration's most senior openly gay official, and he's driving a push to end the criminalization of homosexuality around the globe.

Many see the denial of rainbow flags on official flagpoles as undercutting such efforts as well as the administration's supposed support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Vice-President Mike Pence later defended the administration's decision.

"As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American," he told NBC News. "We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies."

Embassies have been finding other ways to support Pride, however.

Twitter | @USAndIndia

Many are flying large rainbow flags, but not from the official flag pole, while others are using lighting displays, such as the one above at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi.

And the LGBTQ+ community is also finding support from defiant states like California.

In a statement announcing the addition of the rainbow flag to the Capitol's flag pole, Governor Newsom drew attention to the message they wanted to send with the move.

"In California, we celebrate and support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community's right to live out loud — during Pride month and every month," Newsom said. "By flying the pride flag over the State Capitol, we send a clear message that California is welcoming and inclusive to all, regardless of how you identify or who you love."

Todd Gloria, a member of the California state assembly who also serves as Vice-Chair of the state's LGBTQ Caucus, confirmed that the Trump administration's embassy decision played a role.

"At a time when the Trump Administration is forbidding U.S. embassies and consulates around the world from raising pride flags, we are sending the message that we acknowledge and respect LGBTQ people, and they have a home here in California," Gloria said in a statement, according to CNN. "I am proud Governor Newsom is continuing to keep California as a rainbow beacon of hope for the rest of the nation."

House Democrats have also voiced their disapproval of the Trump administration's ban on rainbow flags at embassies.

More than 50 members of Congress have signed onto a letter urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reverse the decision and allow embassies to fly the rainbow flag once more.

h/t CNN

California has a special relationship with the Pride flag.

Unsplash | Sara Rampazzo

The rainbow first flew in San Francisco's United Nations Plaza for Gay Pride Day back in 1978. Since then, it has become a symbol of support and hope for the LGBTQ community around the globe.

Filed Under: