This year alone, President Donald Trump has recognized January as National Mentoring Month, March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and April as Second Chance Month. He has already declared the month of June to be National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month, Great Outdoors Month and National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
But one proclamation is — once again — conspicuously absent from the White House website: LGBTQ Pride Month.
When running for office, Trump promised to be an LGBTQ-friendly Republican and, during Pride Month 2016, tweeted his support for the community.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Trump noted the Pulse nightclub shooting and became the first GOP presidential nominee to directly address the LGBTQ community from a convention podium.
“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” Trump said at the time.
But after ascending to the presidency, things appear to have changed. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, his administration removed references to LGBTQ people from a number of federal government websites.
Trump also disbanded the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, which since 1995 had advised presidents on HIV/AIDS policy. Trump did, however, declare December 1 to be World AIDS Day, though in his 2017 proclamation he did not mention the LGBTQ community, which is disproportionately impacted by the virus.
A number of the president’s appointees have also been criticized by LGBTQ advocates for their extensive records of opposing gay rights. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has a long anti-LGBTQ track record, even reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage during his confirmation hearing in April.
In perhaps President Trump’s most direct attempt to roll back recent gains made by the LGBTQ community, he attempted in July 2017 to ban transgender people from serving “in any capacity” in the military with a series of surprise tweets.
LGBTQ Pride Month was first proclaimed by President Bill Clinton in June 1999, and then again in June 2000, though back then it was called Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. In his statement, Clinton noted that he signed the 1998 executive order that made it possible for people of any sexual orientation to work in the federal government and to receive security clearances.
“Today, more openly gay and lesbian individuals serve in senior posts throughout the Federal Government than during any other Administration,” Clinton’s June 2000 proclamation stated.
President George W. Bush declined to declare June as Pride Month, and it was not until the election of Barack Obama that the tradition started again. Obama issued a proclamation every year he was in office.
“All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” Obama’s June 2015 proclamation read. “During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.”
Later that month, when the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, President Obama ordered the White House be flooded with rainbow lights.
“Unlike the Trump administration, the Democratic Party stands with LGBTQ communities across America and around the world and we are proud to celebrate Pride Month,” Lucas Acosta, director of LGBTQ Media for the Democratic National Committee, told NBC News. “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.”
Chad Griffin, president of national LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said while causes like National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which was recognized in May by the White House, are worthy of recognition, Pride Month’s absence is a red flag.
“It is clear that failing to recognize Pride Month is intentional, just as it was last year,” Griffin told NBC News. “Trump and Pence are obsessed with erasing us. But we will not be erased, and in November, the White House is due for a rude awakening on their blatant discrimination.”
The White House did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.