President Donald Trump’s administration has removed from the State Department’s official website an apology from the US federal government to the LGBTI community, one of several message rebranding efforts to have hit government websites since the start of Trump’s presidency.
Published by former Secretary of State John Kerry in January 2017, the apology recognised decades of government discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people based on sexual orientation.
“In the past – as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades – the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today,” the apology said. “On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community.”
The administration can scrub a website but they can’t silence us. Stay mad. Stay loud.— Maria Mora (@MariaMelee) January 20, 2017
But it was revealed this week that Kerry’s statement has been removed, prompting concern among activists that the Trump administration will erode LGBTI rights.
The White House website removed: LGBT rights, climate change, healthcare, & civil rights.— Kate Willett (@katewillett) January 20, 2017
They added: Melania’s jewelry line.
It is not the first such government web page focused on the LGBTI community to be taken down by the new White House administration.
Trump admin has already erased from federal sites a DOL report on LGBT rights and a WH presentation on climate change.— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) January 20, 2017
President Trump’s White House website and policies can be found here .
The Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s largest organisations campaigning for equal rights, denounced the Trump administration calling for the web pages to be immediately reinstated.