White House press secretary genuinely thinks Donald Trump has a ‘great record’ on LGBT+ issues. Meanwhile, hell just froze over
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has made the bold claim that Trump has a “great record” on LGBT+ issues, even as she dodged questions on his ongoing trans military ban.
McEnany, a former right-wing TV pundit with a long history of anti-LGBT+ comments herself, was asked on Monday (July 13) whether Trump would reconsider the ban in light of a letter from 116 lawmakers calling on him to revoke the policy.
The press secretary breezed straight past this clear case of transphobic discrimination from Trump and instead listed examples of his supposed beneficence towards the LGBT+ community.
“I haven’t talked to him about that specific policy, but this president is proud that in 2019 we launched a global initiative to end the criminalisation of homosexuality throughout the world,” she said.
“He has a great record when it comes to the LGBT+ community. The Trump administration eased a ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men and he launched a plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, so we’re very proud of our achievements.”
This isn’t the first time the White House has tried to overwrite its appalling LGBT+ record ahead of the presidential election, and as you might expect, McEnany is being more than a little disingenuous here.
Despite effusive praise from gay Republicans, Trump has admitted he “didn’t know anything” about the easing of blood donation restrictions for gay and bisexual men.
He also appeared equally clueless about the campaign for the global decriminalisation of homosexuality, telling a journalist: “I don’t know which report you’re talking about. We have many reports.”
Even if he were aware of such a campaign, there has been little evidence of the existence of any such global effort on behalf of the Trump administration, beyond initial press releases.
On the other hand, there is ample evidence of the president’s determined efforts to roll back LGBT+ rights during his presidency – not least the ban on trans people serving in the military, which McEnany so casually ignored.
Besides this he’s also actively supported discrimination against LGBT+ people in employment, services and healthcare and erased LGBT+ resources, data and language from government websites.
Just last month the Republican Party announced that it would be leaving its 2016 party platform unchanged, meaning that the GOP will continue to officially support the reversal of marriage equality.
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Lucas Acosta, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, said that McEnany “is living in a delusion” if she thinks the Trump administration is pro-LGBT+.
He summarised the administration’s impact on the American LGBT+ community in a statement to the Washington Blade.
“They have issued rules sanctioning discrimination against LGBT+ people, particularly transgender people, in healthcare programs and activities,” he began.
“They have ignored anti-LGBT+ atrocities in Chechnya and anti-trans violence here at home. They have banned trans people from serving in the military and turned away trans children with civil rights complaints from the Department of Education.
“They have endorsed allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT+ people solely because of who they are or who they love.
“They are denying trans people equal access to emergency shelters, needlessly and cruelly putting one of the most vulnerable groups in the country in greater danger.”