New Government Spending Bill Bans Pride flags

New Government Spending Bill Bans Pride flags

A new government funding package signed on Saturday by President Biden includes a provision banning the flying of LGBTQ+ Pride flags over U.S. embassies. 

The $1.2 trillion package was signed on the same day the White House vowed to work toward repealing the provision, according to CBS News.

Though the bill does not explicitly cite Pride flags in its ban, it declares that any flag other than the U.S. flag and other government related flags cannot be flown at any U.S. Department facility. This reverses a 2021 State Department authorization that allowed LGBTQ+ flags at these locations, according to Forbes.

Flags that are allowed to be flown include government-related flags, flags supporting prisoners of war, missing-in-action soldiers, hostages, and wrongfully imprisoned Americans.

Though the White House claims this new ban will have “no impact on the ability of members of the LGBTQI+ community to serve openly in our embassies or to celebrate Pride,” this is not the first ban on Pride flags this year. Just this month, the city of Huntington Beach in California voted to ban LGBTQ+ flags and other political nongovernmental banners from the city property. 

The LGBTQ+ community considers these bans as veiled attacks on their rights and freedom of expression, a tactic which would not be surprising following years of anti-LGBTQ legislation across red states nationwide. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La) even promoted the flag ban when lobbying to his fellow conservative party members. 

The bill also disbands the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion which will be replaced by the Office of Talent Management, just four years after the office was created to promote diversity in Congress.

The whopping package also included $9.5 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and $650 million in FEMA funding to help stop overcrowding at border facilities. 

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