White House correspondent Chris Johnson reports that First Lady Melania Trump wanted to light up the White House in rainbow colors this past June in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, but with homophobic White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the mix, the idea of celebrating Pride Month wasn’t going to happen.
It’s not clear if Meadows played a direct role in torpedoing the First Lady’s rainbow celebration, but according to the Washington Blade, “Meadows had a significant role, one Republican source said on condition of anonymity, in ensuring the Trump White House ignored Pride Month, which is why President Trump didn’t send out a tweet to recognize the annual LGBTQ celebration as he did in 2019.”
The last time the White House was lit up in rainbow colors was on June 26, 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Obergefell v. Hodges case which made marriage equality the law of the land.
The First Lady eventually recorded a video message for the Log Cabin Republicans in October during the height of the presidential campaign where she declared she was “shocked to discover” that folks perceived “my husband as anti-gay or against equality.”
First Lady Melania Trump supports freethinkers and trailblazers.
She is an ally for equality.
In this exclusive video, the First Lady gets unapologetically outspoken. pic.twitter.com/kc8UFDqaOB
— Log Cabin Republicans (@LogCabinGOP) October 29, 2020
Earlier this year, the New York Times reported several advisers in Trump’s inner circles suggested he send out a tweet this year recognizing June as Pride Month. That didn’t happen.
Trump did tweet out a message recognizing Pride Month in 2019, becoming the first Republican U.S. president to recognize the annual LGBTQ celebration.
But that was before Meadows became Chief of Staff for Trump in March 2020.
Prior to joining the White House, Meadows represented North Carolina’s 11th congressional district where he accrued a consistently anti-LGBTQ record.
In addition to voting against the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights laws, he voted in favor of prohibiting the U.S. military from paying for transition-related care for transgender service members.
Meadows was also a vocal opponent of legalizing same-sex marriage. In a 2013 interview, he hysterically declared marriage equality would be a ‘constitutional crisis‘ if the U.S. Supreme Court made it a reality (which it did in 2015).
“It’s a huge invasion into state’s rights and the state definition of marriage, whether you call it traditional or natural marriage,” Meadows said at the time. “I call it marriage, you know, it’s between one man and one woman, period.”
Meadows consistently received a rating of “zero” on the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard during his time in the House.