Trump ignores Pride Month while continuing his attacks on LGBTQ people

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This is the third time he has failed to recognize Pride Month officially.

Donald Trump has yet to make a statement honoring LGBTQ Pride Month, three days in, even as violence against LGBTQ people rises.

Trump has already issued other proclamations for the month of June. He proclaimed June Great Outdoors Month, National Ocean Month, and National Homeownership Month.

"As our Nation's economy begins to recover, my Administration remains focused on getting government out of the way of responsible homeownership and reforming our housing finance system," he said in a statement on National Homeownership Month. "...This month, we renew our commitment to helping pave the way for more Americans to achieve the financial benefits and stability of homeownership."

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Trump also proclaimed June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month.

A statement or proclamation designating June as LGBTQ Pride Month was still conspicuously missing from the White House website at the time of publication.

Trump has never recognized Pride Month in an official proclamation. Last year, he tweeted about LGBTQ Pride Month in the context of other countries that persecute that LGBTQ people.

"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," Trump tweeted at that time.

The administration also told NBC News last year that it was launching a global campaign to stop the criminalization of homosexuality.

Trump's daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka, did acknowledge Pride Month in a short tweet on Monday. "Less hate, more love! #Pride2020," she tweeted.

The Trump administration has rolled back numerous LGBTQ protections since its earliest days.

One of the first major decisions on LGBTQ rights made by the Trump administration was to reverse the Obama-era guidance protecting transgender student's rights in schools. The administration has also attempted to ban transgender people from the military, and the Justice Department filed a legal brief in July 2017 saying that businesses should have a constitutional right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Trump also fired all members of the White House Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in December that year. (The Department of Health and Human Services later appointed new members in March 2019.)

The Trump administration is additionally moving forward with rules that enable discrimination against transgender people in homeless shelters and remove Obamacare regulations that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in health care, even during the pandemic, which has greatly affected LGBTQ people's health and incomes.

Trump's silence on Pride Month is especially notable given the recent fierce protests against police abuse and brutality on people of color, most of them black and a number of them LGBTQ people.

The protests have most recently focused on the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white cop last month in Minnesota. But activists have also protested the deaths of several LGBTQ black people, highlighting their stories and honoring their memories.

One of those killed is McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln, a gay black man from Louisiana who was found dead in the street of a gunshot wound. Lincoln's family said police did not notify them of his death until days later, after they had been given the news by neighbors. The family is still looking for answers about his killing.

Tony McDade, a black trans man, was also killed by a white police officer in Florida on May 27. Police said they approached McDade because he "matched the description" of a suspect in a stabbing and claimed that he had a gun. A witness told a local radio station, however, that the officer didn't identify himself or give McDade a warning before shooting him.

Overall, at least 12 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been killed in the first five months of 2020 alone.

According to the FBI database, hate crimes against LGBTQ people have risen over the past few years. Those figures may also not account for the full picture, as USA Today noted in June last year.

"The FBI data...likely dramatically underestimates the true number of hate crimes against the LGBTQ community, experts say, given flaws in the current data collection process and massive discrepancies with the much larger number of self-reported incidents," the outlet wrote at the time. "A better gauge of hate crime trends in the U.S. may be the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), a household-based survey administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. This self-reported data suggests that Americans experience closer to 200,000 hate crimes each year – a far cry from the FBI’s estimate of approximately 7,500."

The number of anti-LGBTQ hate groups also rose from 49 in 2018 to at least 70 last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"Groups that vilify the LGBTQ community, in fact, represented the fastest-growing sector among hate groups in 2019 — expanding from 49 in 2018 to 70 in 2019, a nearly 43% increase," the civil rights group wrote in its year-end report on hate and extremism. "Much of this growth has taken place among groups at the grassroots level, a surge possibly fueled by continued anti-LGBTQ sentiment and policy emanating from government officials."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.