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The importance of a pride flag in Afghanistan

Thanks to the extraordinary progress on gay rights in the U.S. military in recent years, images that were once hard to imagine are now becoming more common.

In December, for example, we saw a lesbian couple marking a time-honored Navy homecoming tradition with a celebrated "first kiss." Rather than being embarrassed by the display, the Navy posted the image on its official military website.

More recently, there's the above image of a gay pride flag flying at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. Though some of the details -- which base, the identity of the man in the picture -- are unclear, news accounts suggest the photo was posted to Facebook by Nicole Jodice, whose husband is reportedly serving in Afghanistan.

Though the authenticity of the image has not yet been verified, I was nevertheless struck by the response published by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who argued that the pride flag represents a security risk (via ThinkProgress).

"Where is the concern now for angering Afghan Muslims, who vehemently oppose homosexuality? The issue is as much an issue of military security as it is of religious morality. After February's accident with the Korans, American lives were lost. What price will we pay because some want to use the military to show their gay pride?"

I'm curious: since when does Tony Perkins think we should appease the cultural beliefs of Afghan Muslims? Some of these same Afghans might vehemently oppose the ongoing presence of U.S. troops in their country, too. Does the Family Research Council think we should avoid flying the American flag out of fear this might offend them?

Or is it more likely Perkins doesn't want to see a gay pride flag in Afghanistan or anywhere else because he doesn't like gay people?