United States President Donald Trump recently became the first Republican president to recognize the LGBT Community’s celebration of Pride Month.
Trump has been making efforts to position himself as an ally of the LGBT community since his campaign for president. However, many of his critics say that this is just an empty public relations ploy. His critics also say that he has not been friendly to the LGBT community while in office.
Trump’s recognition of the annual Pride celebration came in a series of tweets this week.
President Donald Trump told his Twitter audience:
“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. My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!”
Reactions From LGBT Republicans
LGBT Republicans were overwhelmingly supportive and impressed by Trump’s recognition of Pride.
Gregory T. Angelo, former president of the Log Cabin Republicans, thanked the President in a tweet.
“Been waiting all my life for a Republican to show this kind of leadership. THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP!” the tweet read.
The Log Cabin Republicans are a prominent LGBT conservative group.
Jerri Ann Henry, the current leader of the group, told BuzzFeed News she was “thrilled” to see Trump’s tweets.
“In his statement, the president mentioned his support of the many LGBTQ individuals around the world who are wrongfully persecuted for their sexual orientation. We look forward to working with him to ensure the policies in this country are nondiscriminatory,” she said.
Suspicion From Trump’s Critics
While Republicans were happy to applaud Trump for his comments, his critics were not so easily convinced. Trump’s positions on transgender issues took center stage in debates about his dedication to LGBT rights.
The most common complaint from critics is that Trump has used his presidential powers to roll back gay rights. One of the most contentious issues of the Trump presidency was his proposed policy on transgender individuals serving in the military.
The Trump administration has also passed legislation that allows doctors to deny care to LGBT patients. The administration has also threatened the equal access rule, which could exclude LGBT applicants from homeless shelters.
Trump’s opponents also suggested that his tweet was more of a threat to Muslim countries than a recognition of Pride. In order for Trump to enforce worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, he would need to authorize military action in numerous countries.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization:
“For some Americans, it is the only occasion where they can be out and proud in their community. Pride festivals and parades are a celebration of the progress the LGBTQ community has made… Also a time to recognize the distance we still have to go to achieve full equality.”
Researchers often track the origins of the Pride tradition back to the “Stonewall riots” of June 28, 1969. The riots were a massive turning point in the history of the LGBT movement. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Manhattan that saw frequent harassment from police. On the night of the riot, police attempted to raid the bar, but the attendees who gathered inside fought back.
The event sparked a string of protests and marches that eventually grew into a nationwide, and then worldwide celebration.
The next year, on Saturday, June 27, 1970, Chicago Gay Liberation organized a march that would inspire many others.
By 1971, Gay Pride marches were taking place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm. Then, by 1972, the marches expanded to Atlanta, Brighton, Buffalo, Detroit, Washington D.C., Miami, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Over the years, Pride festivals became a global phenomenon.
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