Despite a first year of an administration marked by anti-LGBT policies, President Trump expressed support equality for LGBT people in a letter recently unveiled by Log Cabin Republicans.
The letter, dated Dec. 21 and made public this week by the LGBT Republican group, is signed by Trump and congratulates the organization on its 40th anniversary.
Trump states the letter the United States is built on the principles of equality, explicitly mentioning sexual orientation. (Any mention of transgender people is absent from the letter.)
“We are equal in the eyes of our Creator,” Trump writes. “And we are equal under our Constitution. No matter the color of our skin or our sexual orientation, we all live under the same laws, salute the same great American flag and are made in the image of the same Almighty God.”
Trump says in the letter first lady Melania Trump joins him in “sending our best wishes during this special milestone.”
The letter is similar to an earlier missive Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel sent to Log Cabin congratulating the organization on its 40th anniversary.
Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said the publication of the letter was delayed because it wasn’t obtained until Jan. 2 and then required permission from the White House to make public.
“The president’s letter — together with the letter RNC Chairwoman McDaniel issued to Log Cabin Republicans late last year — is tangible evidence of a GOP that is moving toward greater inclusion and support for the LGBT community,” Angelo added.
Despite Trump’s claim he supports equality, an erosion of LGBT rights has marked his tenure in office as the one-year anniversary of his administration approaches.
Among Trump’s anti-LGBT attacks: An attempted ban on transgender military service; a rollback of LGBT civil rights protections at the Justice Department; sending an attorney to a federal court in New York to argue firing people for being gay is perfectly legal; and new “religious freedom” guidance that essentially green lights the denial of services to LGBT people.
Lucas Acosta, director of LGBTQ media for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement the letters demonstrates Trump “says one thing yet does another” on LGBT rights.
“Too many LGBTQ Americans are denied the full equality they deserve and despite their promises, the Trump administration is determined on rolling back progress,” Acosta said. “The Democratic Party will continue to fight these efforts to erode the rights of LGBTQ people and work to expand their freedom to work, live, and love.”