Somehow, President Donald Trump has managed to deliver a shocking gift to the LGBT community at the beginning of Pride Month: that is, he acknowledged its existence. Despite Trump’s near-constant attacks on gay and transgender rights over the first years of his presidency, the commentary is something no other Republican president on record has given. Naturally, he tweeted the whole thing.
He said in the tweet: “As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
He went on to describe his administration’s “campaign to decriminalize homosexuality” all over the world.
The words do not seem to mean much to the LGBT community here at home, who have come to understand that most of the president’s comments about the LGBT fight are two-faced at best. His tweets were sent out a single week after his administration released plans to remove transgender nondiscrimination protections that were guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. Then again, maybe his attacks are less against LGBT rights and more against any remaining shred of the Obama administration’s policies.
Also based on the Trump administration’s new policies, workers in the healthcare industry are now allowed to refuse treatment of transgender individuals because of “religious freedom.” Even homeless shelters are allowed to deny service to trans men and women.
In addition, when NBC News first reported the administration’s campaign to decriminalize homosexuality all over the world, Trump was asked about it only a day later during a press briefing at the White House. He did not seem to know what they were talking about.
Gregory Angelo, A Log Cabin Republican former president, tweeted back: “Been waiting all my life for a Republican to show this kind of leadership.” The new president of the group acknowledged her own excitement, even amidst many criticisms directed toward Trump.
While Republican presidents have refused to comment on Pride Month, Democratic presidents do it all the time. Former President Bill Clinton made the 1999 proclamation that marked Pride Month in June, which fell directly thirty years after the Stonewall riots. This year marks the 50th anniversary. Barack Obama issued the same proclamations every year he spent in the White House.