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Six Texas Republicans Sponsor Proposed Ban on LGBTQ Pride Flags at U.S. Embassies

They include Houston-area Congressmen Brian Babin, Ted Poe, and Randy Weber.

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Six Republicans from Texas, including three who represent the Houston area, have co-sponsored legislation that appears to be aimed at barring U.S. embassies from flying LGBTQ Pride flags.

Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) quietly introduced H.R. 6450 on July 19. Although the text  has not been made public, the title of the legislation states that it would “prohibit the flying of any flag other than the United States flag over United States diplomatic and consular posts, and for other purposes.”

Ian Thompson, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Washington Blade that he believes the measure is designed to prevent U.S. embassies from flying Pride flags, which has become a common practice to show solidarity with LGBTQ communities overseas.

“I don’t believe it is specific to rainbow/Pride flags, but that is clearly the motivation for this ridiculous, petty bill,” Thompson said. “It is telling that many of the most doggedly anti-LGBTQ members of the House of Representatives are co-sponsors.”

The legislation’s 34 cosponsors include Houston-area Congressmen Ted Poe, Brian Babin, and Randy Weber. The other sponsors from Texas are Reps. Michael Conway, Louie Gohmert, and Pete Sessions.

Duncan, the author, told the Washington Examiner that the U.S. flag “is the single greatest symbol of freedom the world has ever known, and there’s no reason for anything but Old Glory to be flying over our embassies and posts around the globe.”

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John Wright

John Wright is the editor of OutSmart magazine. He has spent two decades in the mainstream and LGBTQ media. Most recently, he served as senior editor of Dallas Voice, and covered LGBTQ issues in the state Legislature for The Texas Observer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He resides in the EaDo area of Houston, where he is currently remodeling a 1930s row house.
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