Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Since when is 'USA' spelt 'LGBT'?

Published:Thursday | July 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The common slogan of the LGBT community includes, inter alia, a push for equality, to be treated with the same respect and dignity as any other person in the same circumstances. I posit that raising a LGBT flag in addition to an American flag goes beyond equality, and is an overstepping of appropriate diplomacy. Furthermore, raising a LGBT flag in addition to an American flag is a subversive policy tactic built at the expense of, and without regard for, the lives lost.




LGBT rights within the United States (US) are a domestic issue to be handled at the national level. The US Embassy's sole responsibility is the furthering of the interests of people who are American citizens, and most importantly, as American citizens. Social demographics and a robust history of diversity and division in the US have inspired some groups of Americans to qualify that citizenship with other labels, such as Black American and LGBT American. While everyone has the right to self-identify as they so please, they must understand that that identification is not an international political issue (with inherent political interests to be defended internationally), but a social one to be handled within national borders.

In deviating from standard diplomatic protocol, the US Embassy inappropriately conflated American political interest with LGBT special interests. It is therefore incoherent and inappropriate to combine domestic social issues with international political interests.

As a diplomatic and political entity, the US Embassy should clean up its LGBT issues (and more urgently, its acute gun violence problem) at home and not hang its dirty laundry half-mast on the same clothes line as its national flag.

Alexander Smith