Trump never issued an official proclamation for Pride Month, though he was the first Republican president to publicly recognize it when he issued a series of tweets in May 2019.
On June 1, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation in recognition of the LGBTQ community for Pride Month. When outlets such as The Independent reported this news, they noted that Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, issued no such proclamations during his tenure in office:
President Joe Biden has issued an official proclamation recognising Pride Month after Donald Trump neglected to do so throughout his term.
“Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought – and continue to fight – for full equality,” Mr Biden said in a statement on Tuesday.
It’s true that Trump never issued a presidential proclamation in recognition of Pride Month.
We searched the National Archives database of proclamations, as well as the Trump White House archives, and found no proclamations issued in honor of Pride Month. In June 2020, NBC News reported that Trump had issued proclamations designating June as “National Homeownership Month, Great Outdoors Month, and Caribbean-American Heritage Month,” but never as Pride Month.
Over the past several days, President Donald Trump has issued presidential actions proclaiming June as National Homeownership Month, Great Outdoors Month and Caribbean-American Heritage Month, among others. On Monday, amid protests across the country, the White House still managed to issue a statement recognizing June 1 as Global Coptic Day — but two days in, nothing, so far, for LGBTQ Pride month.
While Trump never issued an official proclamation for Pride Month, he was the first sitting Republican president to publicly recognize Pride Month, albeit in a less official manner. In May 2019, Trump posted a series of tweets to “celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation.”
These tweets are no longer available online, as Trump was kicked off of the social media platform in early 2021 amid fears that he would incite further violence after the attack on the U.S. Capitol. An archived version of the tweets is available and the text is reproduced below:
“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!”
This message was also released as a statement from the White House.
Although Trump was the first Republican president to recognize Pride Month in this tweet, contemporaneous news articles noted that this message was posted even as Trump’s administration worked to rescind federal protections from transgender individuals:
The tweet came exactly one week after Trump’s administration unveiled a proposal to rescind nondiscrimination protections for transgender people under the Affordable Care Act. Also last week, the administration finalized one rule allowing medical workers to refuse to treat trans people based on religious objections, while drafting another that would allow homeless shelters to turn away transgender individuals.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was the first president to issue a proclamation for Pride Month. On June 11, 1999, Clinton issued “Proclamation 7203: Gay and Lesbian Pride Month,” which read:
Thirty years ago this month, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a courageous group of citizens resisted harassment and mistreatment, setting in motion a chain of events that would become known as the Stonewall Uprising and the birth of the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement. Gays and lesbians, their families and friends, celebrate the anniversary of Stonewall every June in America as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month; and, earlier this month, the National Park Service added the Stonewall Inn, as well as the nearby park and neighborhood streets surrounding it, to the National Register of Historic Places.
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do thereby proclaim June 1999 as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate our diversity, and to remember throughout the year the gay and lesbian Americans whose many and varied contributions have enriched our national life.
Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, did not officially recognize Pride Month during his tenure in office. Annual presidential proclamations for Pride Month resumed in 2009 with the election of President Barack Obama.