As in previous years, President Donald Trump did not issue a presidential proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month.
Now, I realize we are in the middle of a global pandemic, skyrocketing unemployment and racially-charged protests across the nation. But Trump’s office did manage, in the last days of May, to prepare proclamations recognizing June as Great Outdoors Month, National Ocean Month, and National Homeownership Month, to name just a few.
Last year, Trump broke his silence of the previous two years to dispatch – no, not a proclamation – but two tweets wherein he lauded his administration’s “global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality” around the world.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2019
You may recall when he was initially asked about the effort in February 2019, he didn’t know anything about it.
But this year? Nothing.
Trump has, however, been selling an uninspired, rainbow-themed campaign t-shirt on his website for months, so…there’s that.
Contrast that with former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, who penned a lengthy statement honoring the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ Pride.
Pride is a global movement of love, self-expression, and community — resilient in the face of oppression and fear and hopeful for a better future. This month, let us recommit to those principles and remain steadfast in the fight for justice and equality. https://t.co/cNxsmEFW6R
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 2, 2020
Noting the first Pride event occurred a year after the Stonewall protests, Biden remarked on past progress by the LGBTQ community from Harvey Milk’s election to office in San Francisco to the historic candidacy of Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay mayor to run for president.
He also pointed to positive steps made during the Obama-Biden Administration including “signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law; repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; addressed the epidemic of bullying in schools; established the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality as a foreign policy priority; and the White House beamed bright with the colors of the rainbow to mark the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision recognizing marriage equality.”
I’ll note here that the Obama-Biden administration issued presidential proclamations recognizing Pride Month 8 years in a row.
Biden then shifted his focus forward to the damage done to the LGBTQ community by the Trump-Pence administration.
“Donald Trump and Mike Pence have systematically used the power of the White House as a literal bully pulpit to undermine LGBTQ+ rights,” he wrote. “They have given safe harbor to white supremacists and other forms of hate. Predictably, we’ve experienced a rise in hate crimes targeting LGBTQ+ people.”
Biden mentions just some of the ways Team Trump has worked to reduce rights and protections for LGBTQ people including banning transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, denying LGBTQ people access from critical health care, and ignoring the “epidemic of violence” against trans people.
“This is wrong,” Biden continued. “We must send a clear message that hatred and bigotry have no place in America or on the world stage.”
He promises that, as President, he will “take swift action to reverse these odious policies and advance our progress toward ending discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.”
“There are dark and challenging realities ahead that we cannot ignore,” he adds before striking an upbeat tone. “Yet, I remain optimistic because I believe in who we are as a nation. I believe in the story of this country and the LGBTQ+ community.”
You can read the full text of Biden’s statement on the 50th Anniversary of Pride here.