After failing to proclaim June as National Pride Month, President Trump made his first commemoration of the global tribute to gay rights: By speaking at an anti-LGBT conference.
On Thursday, Trump addressed "Road to Majority," a gathering of evangelicals hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an organization which officially opposes same-sex marriage. The conference's 21 scheduled speakers include Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Paul Ryan and evangelical author James Dobson, all of whom have expressed anti-gay views.
"You didn’t let me down, and I will never, ever let you down. You know that,” Trump said in his address, vowing support for "religious liberty." “Faith inspires us to be better, to be stronger, to be more caring and giving, and more determined to act in selfless and courageous defense of what is good and what is right,” he said. “It is time to put a stop to the attacks on religion.” Trump concluded by urging the country to remain "devoted to its Creator."
Vice President Pence has officially opposed same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination laws that protect gay people and, according to one of his congressional campaign websites, "institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior."
The Faith and Freedom coalition's website contains videos such as "What the Bible Really Says About Gay People," in which former Gov. Mike Huckabee says he is on the "right side of the Bible" for opposing same-sex marriage.
“President Trump’s negligence at the start of Pride month provided another example that this administration is no friend to the community,” says Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. “While the Trump Administration tries to systematically erase LGBTQ people and families from the fabric of this nation, LGBTQ Americans and allies must do what we know best this Pride month—stay visible and march for acceptance.”
President Barack Obama declared June as National Pride Month from 2009 to 2016. His term saw a record number of advances for LGBT people, including the legalization of same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court.
During the presidential campaign, Trump said he would do "everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of the hateful, foreign ideology, believe me." So far in his term, Trump has acted to roll back Obama-era protections on transgender bathrooms and protections for LGBT employees.
Although the president failed to declare June as National Pride Month, he has issued more than a dozen proclamations naming June as National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month, Great Outdoors Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month and National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.