State Dept recognizes LGBTI Month while White House doesn’t

State Dept recognizes LGBTI Month while White House doesn’t

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By Avery Anapol, thehill.com

 

President Trump declined to officially recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month, marking the second year in a row that he has done so.

Trump issued a series of proclamations for June, including Great Outdoors Month, National Ocean Month, National Homeownership Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month.

But, unlike under former President Obama, the White House did not formally acknowledge the month as Pride Month. Former President Clinton was the first to recognize it, but former President George W. Bush did not.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did issue a statement recognizing "LGBTI Pride Month," similar to former Secretary Rex Tillerson's statement in 2017.

 

"LGBTI persons - like all persons - must be free to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, without fear of reprisal," Pompeo said in the statement. "As Americans, we place a high value on these rights and freedoms, which all persons deserve to enjoy fully and equally."

"The United States stands firmly with you as you exercise your human rights and fundamental freedoms," he added. "We wish you a safe and happy Pride Month."

The national LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign called out Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for the lack of recognition, asking in a tweet, "Why are [they] so insistent on erasing us?"

 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

Trump often touted his support for some gay rights during the presidential campaign, posing with a rainbow flag and telling a group after the Pulse nightclub shooting that he would "do everything in [his] power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of the hateful, foreign ideology, believe me."

But Trump's administration has been harshly criticized for actions that many have seen as harmful to the LGBTQ community, including his efforts to ban transgender troops from serving in the military, removing references to LGBTQ people from federal websites, and rolling back protections for transgender inmates and employees