White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended President Trump’s tweet recognizing June as LGBT Pride month late Friday, suggesting he may take up the global initiative he referenced to decriminalize homosexuality with the United Nations.
In a gaggle with news reporters at the White House, Conway was asked how important the initiative was to Trump and referred to his tweet, according to a White House press corps pool report.
“It’s very important, he just tweeted about it,” Conway said. “And I personally know it’s very important to him. It’s something that we’ve discussed publicly and privately over a number of years, and he’s had that as a priority as well. It is just a disgrace what happens to people based on their sexual orientation, particularly around the globe, including countries where by the way a lot of media companies film their movies. Those who are talking about pulling out of Georgia now happen to film their movies in places that aren’t particularly very kind to people of different orientations.”
Conway was referencing the draconian law making abortion illegal in Georgia after six weeks and Disney’s threat to no longer to film there because of the controversial statute. Conservative media have been making hay over Disney’s reported plans to built a theme park in Saudi Arabia despite the country’s laws against women’s rights, suggesting the company is being hypocritical for the Georgia threat.
That’s when Conway made the news about the prospect of Trump leading the United Nations in a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality.
“The president just tweeted out — sent a couple tweets about Pride Month and specifically trying to bring other countries along with what we are doing in the United States of America in decriminalizing homosexuality,” Conway said. “You see what the president did last September at the U.N., at the General Assembly when he was able to get 130 or so countries to come along and agree with the United States about the drug prices? So hopefully we can do something similar here on other issues.”
It should be noted the United Nations has already undertaken efforts to combat anti-LGBT discrimination without Trump’s help. In April, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged Brunei not to implement its new penal code that would impose the death penalty against anyone found guilty of engaging in consensual same-sex sexual activity. The country has since implemented a moratorium on the anti-LGBT law.
Asked how Trump can square his recognition of Pride month with his transgender military ban, Conway deflected and referred back to Trump’s global initiative.
“The president is recognizing the fact that tomorrow starts Pride Month, and he is also calling upon other countries to do something that’s very important, which is to join the U.S. in decriminalizing homosexuality,” Conway said.
Referencing remarks Trump made in 2016 that he’s “fine” with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage and considers the issue “settled” as a legal matter, Conway also invoked the claim made in LGBT conservative circles that Trump supports marriage equality.
“Look, I’m old enough to remember the 2008 campaign where Hillary and Obama were arguing with each other as to who was more for traditional marriage,” Conway said. “It wasn’t so long ago. He’s the first president to start as president for approving of gay marriage. That’s something that he should be lauded for in history.”