Norcross, Cicilline Lead Letter Urging Trump to Protect LGBT Rights
WASHINGTON, DC – Ahead of the final weekend of Pride month around the country, Congressmen Donald Norcross (NJ-01) and David Cicilline (RI-01) led a group of 47 Members of Congress in writing President Trump to express dismay at his Administration’s failure to recognize LGBT Pride Month, and to share broad concerns regarding efforts to turn back the clock on LGBT rights. This lapse marks a break in long-running precedent of White House recognition of LGBT rights during the month of June, and follows a series of harmful policy decisions that have adversely affected the LGBT community.
“We write to you to express our concern about your failure, once again, to recognize June as Pride Month. This omission ignores the value of the more than 10 million Americans who belong to the LGBT community,” the Members wrote.
In addition to Norcross and Cicilline, the letter to the President was signed by U.S. Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Earl Blumenaur (D-OR), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Ruben Gallego (D-AR) , Jim Himes (D-CT) , Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) , Seth Moulton (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA) , Katherine M. Clark (D-MA), Darren Soto (D-FL) , Anthony Brown (D-MD) , Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AR), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Diana Degette (D-CO), Eleanor Norton Holmes (D-DC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT) , Tim Walz (D-MN) , Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) , Jose Serrano (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam B. Schiff (D- CA), Judy Chu (D- CA) , Susan K. DelBene (D-WA), Mike Quigley (D-IL) , Brian Higgins (D-NY) , Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Salud O. Carbajal (D-CA), Elizabeth H. Etsy (D-CT), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Frank Pallone Jr. (D- NJ), Collen Hanabusa (D-HI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Joseph P. Kennedy III (D- MA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Susan Davis (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).
The full text of the letter to President Trump is copied below and is available here.
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump,
We write to you to express our concern about your failure, once again, to recognize June as Pride Month. This omission ignores the value of the more than 10 million Americans who belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Members of the LGBT community in the United States and across the world will continue to celebrate Pride Month with or without your support, however your administration’s refusal to recognize June as Pride Month confirms to the LGBT communities here and around the world that you lack a commitment to the cause of equality for all people.
The tradition of Presidential recognition of Pride Month began in 1999 when President Clinton commemorated the 30th anniversary of the uprising at Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City—one of the starting points of the modern LGBT rights movement. We note that you have chosen to recognize June 2018 as National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, and Great Outdoors Month; yet, you have not acknowledged the annual commemoration of the positive impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals on our nation, or the memory of those LGBT Americans who have been the victims of violence and discrimination.
Two years ago, following the June 12 shooting at the Pulse nightclub—one of the worst mass shootings in the nation’s history, which took 49 lives—you tweeted that you would “fight for” the LGBT community. While it is upsetting that you have chosen to not recognize June as Pride Month, other policies and actions you and your administration have embraced continue to negatively affect millions of LGBT Americans. Executive branch nominations and policies that openly discriminate against LGBT individuals do great and lasting harm not only to the LGBT community but to our nation’s role as a leader on civil and human rights. We urge you to fulfill your promise to the LGBT community by enacting policies and supporting legislation, such as the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Equality Act, which would protect and ensure equality for all under the law.
The LGBT community has faced centuries of discrimination and harassment. Despite years of progress toward equality, there is still much more to be done. We urge you to stand with the LGBT community and issue a proclamation recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month and we further implore you to support policies that ensure equality for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.