US Consulate in Erbil raises LGBT Pride flag


Published: 2017-06-04 15:51

Last Updated: 2024-06-18 09:32

The US Consul General in Erbil raised the rainbow flag last weekend.
The US Consul General in Erbil raised the rainbow flag last weekend.

Amid the chaos of conflict in Iraq, the US Consulate General in Erbil in a bold move stuck its neck out for human rights.

The LGBT Pride flag was raised quietly at the US Consulate on Thursday. 

Ken Gross, the Consul General in Erbil, raised the rainbow flag in celebration of LGBT Pride Month, according  to a press release issued by the consulate. The Gay and Lesbian Pride month has been celebrated every year in June since Bill Clinton started the tradition in 2000 to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots protesting civil rights for gays in Manhattan.

According to White House archives, former US President Barack Obama continued Clinton's June commemoration, opening it up to the full rainbow of subcultures, adding Bisexual and Transgender to the Gay and Lesbian Pride month. However, this year, President Trump broke the tradition by not proclaiming June “Pride Month” like his predecessors.

The Defense Equal Opportunity Institute at the Pentagon is yet to release an official notice on this occasion, despite already issuing specific materials for Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in May.

The Equal Opp group blamed the delay on the lack of a White House proclamation: “The LGBT Pride Month proclamation for 2017 has not been signed. Nothing prohibits an organization from using past themes/products,” a spokesman said.

Meanwhile the rainbow flag is flying high and unfettered in the sunny city of Erbil.