June is Pride Month. It’s a month originally chosen to mark the Stonewall riots, where we honor the history of LGBTQ people everywhere to persevere and thrive, even when under unthinkable oppression.
It’s also a month where we’re reminded of the challenges and obstacles to full equality and dignity that exist for LGBTQ students across the United States, who too often still face discrimination from other students, parents, teachers and administrators.
So, you’d think, probably not a good time for Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Secretary of Education to honor some of the most vicious homophobes in our national political system.
But you’d be wrong.
Incredibly enough, DeVos chose Pride Month to invite some of the most virulently anti-LGBTQ organizations in the United States, Focus on the Family and Family Research Council, to an official White House event.
Here are the deets, from ThinkProgress:
The Education Department included anti-LGBTQ groups in a conference on family engagement on Thursday, which caused the National Parent Teacher Association to pull out of the event. The National PTA, which has 4 million members, told BuzzFeed those groups, Focus on the Family and Family Research Council, are “not in alignment” with its position on helping LGBTQ youth.
The Southern Poverty Law Center identified the Family Research Council as an anti-LGBTQ hate group. The FRC has labeled gay men as child molesters, and called same-sex relationships “more violent.” Focus on the Family has opposed laws that would protect transgender and gender-nonconforming people from discrimination and supports conversion therapy, a harmful practice that considers any non-heterosexual attraction to be similar to alcohol or drug addiction.
Backlash online has been swift and vicious:
Devos – Trump’s Education Secretary – met with an anti #LGBTQ hate group
During #LGBTPrideMonth 🏳️🌈
— Shareblue (@Shareblue) June 16, 2017
— Annie Waldman (@AnnieWaldman) June 15, 2017
But then, we shouldn’t be *too* surprised on Trump’s cabinet – just a few months ago, Donald Trump Jr. openly mocked LGBTQ students on Twitter.
Trump and the White House should be wishing LGBTQ students a happy pride, and providing them assistance – not making their lives hard.