Leanne MacMillan, Director of Global Programmes at Stonewall, said:
'As President Donald Trump visits the UK today for the second time, it’s important to recognise the threat that the Trump-Pence administration represent to the ongoing fight for equality.
‘To mark the beginning of Pride month this weekend, Trump tweeted about the importance of standing in solidarity with the LGBT community and celebrating American LGBT heroes. However, these words are a stark contrast to the actions of the Trump-Pence administration, which since taking office in January 2017 administration have adopted a broad anti-LGBT agenda that threatens the rights of millions of lesbian, gay, bi and trans Americans.
‘We have been increasingly alarmed at the steps President Trump and his administration have taken to row back the rights of trans people in the US. Just over a week ago, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a regulation to roll back protections for trans people against discrimination in healthcare. Not to mention that the Trump-Pence administration has already instituted a trans military ban, repealed protections for trans people’s access to some single-sex spaces and signed an executive order suggesting religious freedoms can be used to justify anti-LGBT discrimination. Trump and his administration have consistently shown a disregard for the wellbeing and safety of all groups who face discrimination and send a clear message that the most powerful person in the world does not value equal rights for the LGBT community, in the US and beyond.
‘It is important we stand in solidarity with LGBT people in the United States and remind ourselves that the progress we’ve made towards equality is never secure. The swing towards extreme politics and anti-diversity rhetoric that’s been gaining momentum worldwide is serving as encouragement to those who see LGBT human rights as an affront to their views. We cannot be complacent because the fight for equality in one place is the fight for it everywhere.
‘The President’s visit comes at a time when Britain is seeing divisive debates happening about LGBT-inclusive education and trans equality. When we question one group’s rights, we expose the rights of everyone to be questioned and debated. Donald’s Trump return to Britain is an opportunity to come together and show why LGBT equality need to be something that matters to everyone. Together, we are stronger than any hate that might try to divide us.’