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The Human Rights Campaign has criticized First Lady Melania Trump for allegedly attempting to have the White House lit in rainbow colors.
Trump wanted to commemorate LGBTQ Pride Month this year by lighting the White House in the colors of the Pride flag, but was blocked by Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, the Washington Blade reports.
Alphonso David, president of the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, slammed any attempt at LGBTQ outreach by the Trump administration.
“This news is just too little too late and directly contrary to 4 years of discriminatory and oppressive anti-LGBTQ policies from the Trump administration,” David said.
“As an example, rather than acknowledging the existence of Pride Month, the Trump-Pence administration used the month of June to significantly heighten their aggressive attacks on LGBTQ people — releasing new rules that sanction discrimination against LGBTQ patients and sharing plans to restrict transgender people’s access to emergency shelters,” he continued.
“This election, LGBTQ people made their voices heard loud and clear, turning out in record numbers to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We look forward to an administration that will stand with our community from day one.”
In addition to allegedly blocking the White House being illuminated, Meadows was also a key component in Donald Trump’s refusal to recognize Pride Month with an official proclamation, according to the Blade‘s sources.
Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, issued a proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month each year he was in office, resuming a practice first started by President Bill Clinton, who recognized Gay and Lesbian Pride Month during his last two years in office. (President George W. Bush failed to recognize it during his two terms.)
It was also under Obama that the White House was first illuminated with the colors of the rainbow Pride flag, after the Supreme Court’s landmark same-sex marriage ruling in 2015.
“To see people gathered in the evening on a beautiful summer night and to feel whole and to feel accepted and to feel they had a right to love, that was pretty cool,” Obama said at the time. “That was a good thing.”
The Trump White House repeatedly refused to recognize June as Pride Month, contradicting attempts by gay conservatives to paint the president as pro-LGBTQ. Instead, in 2019, the Trump administration used Pride Month to ban U.S. embassies from flying Pride flags.
Trump did tweet about Pride Month in 2019, recognizing “the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation” — something LGBTQ organizations slammed as “gaslighting” and “gross hypocrisy” in light of his administration’s attacks on LGBTQ rights.
The tweet also touted a heavily promoted global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide. However, that campaign, which was similarly used by Republicans to declare that Trump was pro-LGBTQ, was later declared a “sham” that produced no “major breakthroughs” in 18 months.
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