Too little, too late? US Secretary of State backs Pride Month


America’s Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has issued a statement in support of LGBTQ Pride Month around the world, while President Trump has remained notably silent.

The State Department, which is responsible for America’s foreign affairs and polices, issued the short message on Thursday, more than a week into Pride Month.

In it, Tillerson said that his department “affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organisations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom.”

“We also recognise that LGBTI persons continue to face the threat of violence and discrimination,” he noted. “Violence and discrimination targeting any vulnerable group undermines our collective security as well as American values.

“When all persons are protected on the basis of equality and with dignity, global stability is strengthened. We will continue to support the human rights of LGBTI persons together with like-minded governments, businesses, and civil society organisations globally.”

Tillerson concluded: “The United States remains committed to human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons. Dignity and equality for all persons are among our founding constitutional principles, and these principles continue to drive US diplomacy.”

President Donald Trump, however, has failed to proclaim June as LGBTQ Pride Month, which was done every year by his predecessor, Former President Barack Obama. In fact, Trump has not mentioned Pride Month at all to date.

His daughter, Ivanka, did tweet out a message “to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans who have made immense contributions to our society and economy”. She was quickly lambasted for her hypocrisy for not speaking out against her father’s anti-LGBTQ policies.

In 2009, Obama became the first US president to formally proclaim June as Pride LGBTQ Month, and continued to declare it as such throughout his presidency.

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