One president proclaims June as LGBT Pride Month and celebrates it with receptions at the White House. His successor ignores it, for the second year in a row.
The first president is, of course, Barack Obama, who recognized Pride Month in each of his eight years in office. His successor, Donald Trump, has once again issued several proclamations for June, but not one for Pride.
As he did last year, Trump has proclaimed June National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, and Great Outdoors Month - several of which square oddly with his record, particularly on racial issues and the environment. But missing once again is LGBT Pride, from a man who once claimed he'd be a great president for LGBT people but has undermined LGBT rights at every turn, with his "license to discriminate" orders, withdrawal of protections for transgender students, efforts to keep trans people out of the military, and more.
There is some celebration of Pride among national political groups, however. Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez, LGBTQ Caucus chair Earl Fowlkes, Finance chair Henry Munoz, treasurer William Derrough, and secretary Jason Rae released this statement today:
"Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate the vast contributions LGBTQ Americans have made to our society, to honor the generations of leaders and activists who have fought for equality, and to rededicate ourselves to the work that remains.
"We see the impact of LGBTQ Americans throughout our history. We see it in the hope of Harvey Milk and the trailblazing work of Pauli Murray. We see it in the courageous leadership of Bayard Rustin and the pioneering career of Sally Ride. We see it in the brilliant performances of Laverne Cox, the athletic dominance of Abby Wambach, and the indomitable spirit of the late Edie Windsor.
"Under President Obama, our nation continued its long march toward LGBTQ equality. We ended Don't Ask Don't Tell and we fought for transgender equality in schools, military service, health care, and public accommodations. Today, hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds must extend visitation rights to LGBTQ patients. Across the country, violence against LGBTQ individuals can now be prosecuted as federal hate crimes. And of course, marriage equality is now the law of the land.
"We've made incredible progress for LGBTQ rights, and we've seen LGBTQ candidates achieve historic victories up and down the ballot. But LGBTQ Americans still face hurdles to equality across our society - from bathrooms to bakeries to the ballot box. Every day, Republicans in Congress, the White House, and at the state and local level are trying to turn back the clock on LGBTQ rights."
"The Democratic Party stands with LGBTQ communities in America and around the world. We believe that no one should face discrimination, bullying, or violence because of who they are or who they love. And we will never stop fighting for the equality every human being deserves."