Trump's record on LGBTQ rights has been disastrous.
Donald Trump's campaign will host a "Pride" event on Tuesday. But mysteriously, the invitation makes no mention of the LGBTQ community.
The Trump campaign announced Saturday that Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump and his former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell would headline the free event in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. The invitation and RSVP page called it only a "Trump Pride" event, without indicating anything about what that means or whether it was intended for LGBTQ Trump supporters.
The Trump campaign did not immediately offer any additional details about the event.
The Trump campaign website claims that Trump is "the only President to openly support the LGBT community since his first day in office," and that he has supported and enacted "policies and initiatives that protect the wellbeing and prosperity of all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans."
In reality, Trump's record on LGBTQ rights has been disastrous. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump ran on opposing marriage equality and the right of transgender people to use bathrooms that reflect their gender identity.
Since Trump took office in 2017, he and his administration have made at least 175 attacks on LGBTQ rights, many of them targeting transgender Americans. The administration has worked to make it easier to discriminate against transgender people in the military, in schools, in hospitals, and even in homeless shelters.
The Trump administration intervened (unsuccessfully) in the historic Supreme Court ruling that barred anti-LGBTQ job discrimination. And Trump and his allies have opposed the Equality Act, which would explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The Trump campaign's outreach efforts to the LGBTQ community amount to little more than a cynical political ploy, according to national LGBTQ rights advocates.
"I take that to be less of a strategy actually about getting the votes of LGBTQ people, and more a strategy of attempting to get those equality-adjacent voters, people who don’t like supporting candidates who are anti-LGBTQ, and trying to give them a little bit of breathing room," Lucas Acosta, the deputy communications director of politics for the Human Rights Campaign, told The American Independent Foundation in September.
In a Fox News appearance last month, Eric Trump praised the LGBTQ community as "incredible," and suggested that queer and transgender Americans support his father "in full force."
That claim doesn't exactly stand up to scrutiny. A GLAAD poll conducted last month found that 74% of LGBTQ registered voters favor former Vice President Joe Biden, while just 17% of respondents said they support Trump.
"The LGBTQ community is indeed incredible, but the Trump Administration's record on LGBTQ issues is shameful and abysmal," GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tweeted in response to Eric Trump's comments. "The Trump family and their surrogates lie about widespread support in our community. LGBTQ voters will not fall for it."
On top of trying to obscure Trump's unpopular anti-LGBTQ positions, the Trump campaign has tried to raise money by selling "Trump Pride" swag. For $25, supporters can buy a "Make America Great Again Pride Tee" to show their "support for the LGBT community and the 45th President."
Trump has refused to issue an official Pride Month proclamation at any point in his presidency, though he did designate June to be "Great Outdoors Month," "National Ocean Month," "National Caribbean-American Heritage Month," "African-American Music Appreciation Month," and "National Homeownership Month."
LGBTQ rights activist and radio host Michelangelo Signorile tweeted that the Trump Pride event was "closeted," noting that "neither 'gay' nor 'LGBTQ' is mentioned, Trump himself is not involved, and the whole thing is in code: 'Pride' in rainbow letters."
By contrast, former Vice President Joe Biden, has been endorsed by virtually every major LGBTQ rights group and more than 300 LGBTQ leaders.
Biden has been explicit about his support for equal rights for queer and transgender Americans.
"I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know you are loved and accepted just as you are — whether you've come out or not," Biden tweeted on Sunday in support of National Coming Out Day. "I'll fight every day in the White House to create a country where you can live open, proud, and free — without fear."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.