Sen. Ron Wyden has joined 19 senators in signing a letter to President Donald Trump bemoaning the lack of a White House proclamation declaring June as Pride Month.
"This silence comes amidst a series of policy decisions made by your administration that have hurt the LGBT community," the letter says. It adds that the lack of White House recognition "sends a troubling message to the LGBT community that your administration is not committed to advancing equality for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."
The letter, which Wyden signed on June 16, also raised concerns over the administration's moves to withdrawal the Justice Department from an LGBT-related court case and his executive order "promoting free speech and religious liberty", which critics saw as granting permission to discriminate against LGBT Americans. The Trump Administration has also been criticized for throwing out protections for transgender students.
Former President Bill Clinton started issuing a proclamation of LGBT Pride Month in 1999, a tradition that President Barack Obama continued during his eight-year term. However, no Republican president has ever officially recognized June as a time to celebrate LGBTQ rights and identities – eight years went by during President George W. Bush's term when the White House remained silent on Pride Month.
Wyden has long been an advocate for LGBT rights. He took a political risk in 1995 when he became one of the earliest public supporters of same-sex marriage during his first Senate campaign.
Nearly 10 years later, when a federal court struck down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage in 2014, he declared it a "significant moment in Oregon's civil rights history, and it's an important step toward equal rights for all Americans."
His office declined further comment, saying the letter speaks for itself.