Should American embassies be allowed to fly gay pride flags in addition to the Stars and Stripes?
What the bill does
The Old Glory Only Act [H.R. 6450] would prevent any flag besides the American one from being flown at U.S. embassies.
This comes after U.S. embassies in Belize, Israel, and Jamaica have briefly flown rainbow flags in honor of LGBT pride week or after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
It was introduced on July 19 by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC3).
What supporters say
Supporters argue the legislation promotes the one emblem that universally represents the United States at official U.S. government buildings.
“The United States flag is the single greatest symbol of freedom the world has ever known,” Duncan told the Washington Examiner in a statement, “and there’s no reason for anything but Old Glory to be flying over our embassies and posts around the globe.”
What opponents say
Opponents counter that other flags such as the rainbow flag can support solidarity with LGBT people, who are often discriminated in many other nations where the U.S. maintains outposts and embassies.
“Our flag at half-mast in memory; we fly the rainbow flag in solidarity. Thank you to all Jamaicans sending condolences,” the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica tweeted after 2016’s Pulse nightclub shooting.
After Jamaican Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte replied saying she found the flag disrespectful, the embassy responded, “We’re listening. Explain the legal reasoning? It was an attack of terror and hate, targeting the LGBT community.”
Odds of passage
The bill has 30 House cosponsors, all Republicans. It awaits a potential vote in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Although Republicans control Congress, it’s doubtful that the bill is a high enough priority with less than four months until the midterms for congressional passage. It’s also uncertain if the bill would attract enough Republican support for passage.