Organizers from Copenhagen Pride and LGBT Denmark plan to boycott a Pride reception hosted by the U.S. ambassador to express their discontent with how the Trump administration has handled LGBTQ rights, reports Out & About.
Trump recently replaced Rufus Gifford, a married gay man, with private equity firm chair Carla Sands as the ambassador to Denmark. Gifford had a television show, I Am The Ambassador, which prominently featured his husband Stephen, who he married in Denmark in 2015.
"It would sound pretty hollow if on the one side you criticize the Trump administration for their reluctance to accommodate LGBT people and the rolling back of LGBT-inclusive legislation, and at the same time stand around drinking champagne with the ambassador who represents that administration," Thomas Rusmussen of Copenhagen Pride told Out & About.
Sands is set to hold the Pride reception at her official residence in Copenhagen on August 15. But these prominent Danish groups will not attend.
"We don’t want to rubber-stamp the Trump administration’s backward-looking rolling back of LBGT rights by our presence," LGBT Denmark spokesperson Peder Holk Svendsen told the Copenhagen Post.
Gifford, who is currently running for Congress in Massachusetts, still has his eye on Europe. "It was the honor of my lifetime to represent my country overseas, celebrating the fundamental American values of inclusivity, tolerance, and equality and all the progress we’ve made on LGBT rights," he told The Washington Blade.
“I am absolutely horrified by Donald Trump’s assault on our core values and his administration’s shameful positions on LGBT issues,” he continued. “I’m running for Congress because I saw not just my rights, but the rights of many Americans, under threat, and I knew I needed to step up my level of service to defend the progress we’ve made together.”
In a statement to the Blade, the embassy announced it is “disappointed to learn that some members of local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) organizations have declined to attend the Pride reception hosted by the embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.”
“The U.S. Department of State has and will continue to advance and advocate for the human rights and equal rights of LGBTI persons and the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen has made its support for and participation in Pride activities a cornerstone of its engagement over the years,” the statement added. “This has not changed. Our doors have been open to the LGBTI community and we remain open to dialogue in pursuit of our shared objectives, including equal rights and equal opportunity for all.”
“As a diplomat, I’m not going to comment publicly on the work of my successor besides saying I believe so deeply in the strength of the U.S.-Danish relationship and the bonds between the American and Danish people,” said Gifford. “Despite this difficult chapter in American history, I hope these bonds only grow stronger over time.”