White House Slams GOP For Abusing Spending Package To Ban Pride Flags At U.S. Embassies

"We will continue to work with members of Congress to find an opportunity to repeal it," the Biden administration said.

The Biden administration attacked congressional Republicans after the party included a provision that bans U.S. embassies from flying the LGBTQ+ Pride flag in some circumstances in a recent spending package.

The president signed the $1.2 trillion package on Saturday, ending the threat of a partial government shutdown after a protracted battle between Republicans and Democrats. However, the mammoth, 1,000-plus page bill included language that targets the symbol, requiring that no funds appropriated by Congress “may be obligated or expended to fly or display a flag over a facility of the United States Department of State.”

“President Biden believes it was inappropriate to abuse the process that was essential to keep the government open by including this policy targeting LGBTQI+ Americans,” the White House said in a statement this weekend first reported by Bloomberg.

“While it will have no impact on the ability of members of the LGBTQI+ community to serve openly in our embassies or to celebrate Pride, the Administration fought against the inclusion of this policy and we will continue to work with members of Congress to find an opportunity to repeal it,” the statement continued.

The provision would appear to allow the display of such flags in other ways, according to civil rights groups, including inside the building.

Some U.S. embassies began displaying the pride flag under former President Barack Obama, but his successor, former President Donald Trump, banned the practice during his term. Biden reversed that decision shortly after he entered the White House.

Many embassies have since displayed the symbol during June, which is celebrated as Pride Month.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) reportedly cheered the inclusion in a recent closed-door meeting with other conservative lawmakers, according to Bloomberg. The GOP has targeted queer people nationwide, unveiling hundreds of bills in recent years targeting trans kids, barring drag events and prohibiting teachers in some areas from discussing their sexuality in the classroom.

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