Donald Trump reportedly no-showed funeral of congressman and staunch LGBT ally Elijah Cummings
Donald Trump has reportedly failed to attend the funeral of civil rights activist, congressman and LGBT+ ally Elijah Cummings.
Cummings died at the age of 68 on 17 October from “complications concerning longstanding health challenges”, a spokeswoman said.
The congressman’s funeral took place today and was attended by former presidents including Barack Obama and Bill Clinton – but the current president was reportedly nowhere to be seen.
Donald Trump and Elijah Cummings repeatedly clashed.
The president’s absence from the funeral will not come as a surprise as Cummings and Trump repeatedly clashed over the years.
Cummings had pursued Trump as head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and went on to become a leading figure in an impeachment inquiry against the president, The New York Times reports.
In July, Trump soured relations even further with both Cummings and the people of Baltimore when he called the congressman’s home city a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”.
Some Twitter users have claimed that Trump’s absence at the funeral is an affront while others have said that he would rightly not have been welcome because of their history.
He doesn't deserve to be there, Elijah Cummings is head and shoulders above Trump!!
— BAM (@LOARMANDOL) October 25, 2019
I think it's best that he's not there, personally. I'm sure Cummings's family doesn't want him there.
— Chuck Todd's Bangs (@_marymary7) October 24, 2019
When Cummings died last week, Trump tweeted: “My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”
Elijah Cummings was a powerful LGBT+ ally.
Cummings was a consistent ally to the LGBT+ community throughout his life and voiced his support for same-sex marriage during Maryland’s 2012 marriage equality referendum.
He later reiterated his support when the Supreme Court extended marriage equality to the entire United States in 2015.
“It so clearly and rightly upholds the principles of freedom and equality under the law that our nation embodies,” he said.
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In 2016, he shot down arguments for the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT+ people under the banner of religious freedom.
He later hit out at the decision to have a Congress hearing on the bill just one month after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida where 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub.
“Even if you truly believe that being gay is morally wrong, or that people should be allowed to discriminate against gay people, why in the world would you choose today of all days to hold a hearing on this discriminatory legislation?” he said.
When news of his death broke last week, members of the LGBT+ community mourned the loss of a powerful ally.