- ‘This administration and president will proudly stand on a record of achievements.’
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has again praised Donald Trump’s record on LGBT+ rights – despite the administration increasing attacks on LGBT+ Americans.
McEnany had to deny that the Trump administration discriminates against same-sex couples. She was responding to a case where a married American LGBT+ couple failed to secure citizenship for their surrogate daughter.
McEnany previously claimed Trump has a ‘great record’ when it comes to the LGBT+ community in July. At the time, campaigners at LGBT+ organization GLAAD listed 153 attacks his administration has made on the community. Now that number has risen to 172.
Battle for daughter’s citizenship
At Monday’s White House press briefing, Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson raised the question about how fairly the US State Department treats LGBT+ couples.
In particular, he raised a case where a federal judge in Georgia ruled against the Trump administration on Thursday (27 August).
Married couple Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg are both US citizens living in Decatur, Georgia. But two years ago their daughter Simone Mize-Gregg was born in England via a surrogate mother.
However the US Consulate in London refused to recognize Simone’s citizenship and denied her a passport.
The US officials said she is not biologically related to both men. Therefore they considered her born ‘out of wedlock’ and not a citizen at birth.
The Trump administration claims to use the same rules for mixed-sex couples who use surrogates.
Despite this, Mize and Gregg said while they were waiting at the consulate, they saw at least 20 male-female couples receive passports for their children without officials questioning them about how their baby was conceived.
In this case, US District Judge Michael L Brown ruled that the administration must recognize Simone as a citizen since birth.
However the State Department is considering appealing Judge Brown’s ruling. Moreover, it has appealed at least two similar rulings.
Trump’s ‘proud’ or ‘abysmal’ record
Responding to Johnson, McEnany denied the State Department discriminated against same-sex couples. Moreover, she repeated her claim that Donald Trump has been a pro-LGBT+ president:
‘This administration and president will proudly stand on a record of achievements, like leading a global initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality throughout the world, launching a plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, and easing a ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.’
However, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded:
‘The White House press secretary is wrong and so is the administration’s policy, which has in fact only targeted same-sex parents.
‘McEnany also again falsified the Trump administration’s LGBTQ record — 172 attacks and counting in policy and rhetoric.
‘The administration’s “global initiative” went nowhere. Its plan for AIDS is horrifically underfunded and not serious. And the administration should be calling to completely lift the outdated and discriminatory ban on blood donations from gay and bi men.
‘Press Secretary McEnany should update her LGBTQ talking points.
‘We will continue to call out the truth about the administration’s attacks against LGBTQ people in rhetoric and policy. We’ll continue to call it what it is: abysmal. We’ll continue to question why McEnany thinks it’s a record to be proud of.’
Indeed, research earlier this year showed Trump has become more anti-LGBT+ as he prepares for the election.
Moreover, McEnany also has a track record of attacking LGBT+ rights – including marriage equality and transgender bathroom access.
By contrast, Trump’s Democrat opponent Joe Biden has promised to proritize LGBT+ rights if he wins the election on 3 November.