An LBGTQ rainbow flag is flying at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See for the month of June, which is Pride Month.
"The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people," the embassy said on its Instagram page regarding the display of the rainbow flag. "LGBTQI+ rights are human rights."
What are the details?
An embassy statement to EWTN News Nightly says in part, "The United States will lead by the power of our example and pursue policy to end violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics."
EWTN reported that in previous years the rainbow flag was not flown for Pride Month at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See but was flown at the U.S. Embassy to Italy. The outlet said the Vatican had no comment.
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is not in Vatican City but in the same compound as the U.S. Embassy to the Italian Republic, according to LifeSite.
'Shame on our State Department'
As you might imagine, backlash against the display of the rainbow flag was swift.
Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts was not pleased with the move, noting on Twitter that "as a Catholic, I'm curious to know if the Biden-Harris Embassy in the Holy See will promote respect for Catholic teaching on family and freedom of conscience — or whether we can simply expect more political stunts like this."
Evangelical Christian leader Franklin Graham also offered strong words in opposition to the gesture: "Shame on our State Department for allowing the American Embassy at the Vatican to fly the LGBTQ pride flag. What an insult to the Catholic Church! This flag is promoting an agenda, not a country, & to give it equal billing with the American flag is wrong."
Others expressed similar sentiments on the embassy's Instagram page:
- "Your job is diplomacy NOT touting immorality," one commenter wrote.
- "This is contrary to Catholic teaching and a slap in the face to actual practicing Catholics," another user declared. "Funny how you don't post this flag in Saudi Arabia and other countries…"
- "Actually it's the month of the Sacred Heart," another commenter said. "Not the month of using a flag for false niceties."
As TheBlaze recently reported, Republican U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York introduced a bill to prevent political flags other than the American flag from being flown outside U.S. embassies around the world in response to the Biden administration authorizing U.S. embassies to fly LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter flags.
U.S. Embassy to the Holy See Flies Pride Flag for the Month of June | EWTN News Nightly youtu.be