Friday, May 31, 2019

Trump recognizes Pride Month

President Trump on Friday acknowledged Pride Month and praised the "outstanding contributions" of LGBT Americans.

In a pair of tweets, Trump expressed solidarity with people living in countries that criminalize and punish members of the LGBT community, prompting criticism from lawmakers and advocates who pointed to his own administration's policies.

"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. "My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!"

Pride Month is celebrated in June and recognizes the contributions of LGBTQ people to society.

Friday marked the first time since Trump took office that he formally recognized Pride Month. The Trump administration has undertaken an effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality, and the president has spoken about helping the LGBT community.

But the administration has generally drawn rebukes from organizations and advocates over its rollback of LGBTQ rights and protections for transgender people in particular.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a proposal last week rolling back health care protections for transgender people. The regulation would scrap ObamaCare's definition of "sex discrimination" to remove protections for gender identity.

In addition, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a rule earlier this month that would roll back protections for homeless transgender people by allowing federally funded shelters to turn away transgender people for religious reasons.

The administration also finalized rules earlier this month giving more leeway to health workers to deny people treatment if doing so would violate their religious or moral beliefs.

The Pentagon’s policy barring most transgender people from serving in the military unless they serve under their biological sex took effect last month following a series of court battles.

Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups quickly noted the Trump administration's policies toward members of the LGBTQ community in responding to the president's Pride Month tweet.

"Nice Tweet. Now, how about telling Mitch McConnell to bring up the Equality Act?" Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) tweeted, referencing an anti-discrimination bill that passed in the House.

The Human Rights Campaign tweeted that Trump and Vice President Pence "are no friend to LGBTQ people," highlighting administration policies they have opposed.

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