LGBTQ entries disappear from WhiteHouse.gov and some other government websites
by Rob Howard
Simultaneously with President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, a new WhiteHouse.gov website went live. Missing from the new website was any reference to LGBTQ people or issues. In addition, according to The Washington Post, “a report on the Labor Department’s website on LGBT workers’ rights was also removed.”
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued a statement Friday afternoon, commenting on the removal, saying, “President Trump pledged to serve all Americans, while simultaneously scrubbing every mention of LGBTQ people from the White House website. The Department of Labor’s crucial report on worker rights has also disappeared. If President Trump truly believes in uniting the country, now is the time to make clear whether he will be an ally to the LGBTQ community in our struggle for full equality. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to protect our community and our progress.”
The HRC’s daily update email said that the Department of Labor webpage had reappeared Saturday morning. However, The Gayly checked the page, and while the report’s title – “Advancing LGBT Workplace Rights” – was listed, clicking on the link returned a “Page not found” notice.
Other resource listed on the Labor website appeared to still be accessible, except for a page titled “Resources for Employers on LGBT Workers and Inclusive Workplaces,” which also returned a “Page not found” notice.
The Gaylychecked other federal government websites. Justice.gov had several listings for LGBT; however, a page titled “Protecting the Rights of LGBTI Individuals” resulting in Page not found. The State.gov website still had multiple entries under LGBT, all of which appeared to be accessible.
The Department of Education had many entries for LGBT, including the May 2016 guidance to schools regarding transgender students being covered under the Title IX prohibition of discrimination based on sex, which was accessible.
You can still see the Obama administrations pages from WhiteHouse.gov that detail President Obama’s achievements in advancing LGBTQ rights, at www.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-record/social-progress.
It will be interesting to see if the Trump administration will be pursuing a policy of refusing to acknowledge LGBT people. The Spanish language version of WhiteHouse.gov was also deleted, but Press Secretary Sean Spicer, at his Monday briefing, told a reporter for an Hispanic news organization that they “had the IT guys working overtime,” but that it would take them a while to finish updating the President’s website. It will be interesting to see if that applies to LGBTQ issues as well.
LGBTQ rights organizations will no doubt be checking on this daily. Watch www.gayly.com and our Facebook page, The Gayly, for updates as they are available.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly – January 23, 2017 @ 4:20 p.m.