According to senior Republican sources, First Lady Melania Trump wanted to light up the White House in rainbow colors to mark Pride Month this year. However, the idea was reportedly shot down.
Speaking to the Washington Blade, the two sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claim the idea was opposed by the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Meadows has been a long-time opponent of LGBTQ equality measures, including same-sex marriage, which he once warned would lead to a “constitutional crisis”. The insider sources say Meadows, who became chief of staff in March, was against any demonstration whatsoever of LGBTQ support from the White House for Pride Month.
In 2019, President Trump marked Pride month with a tweet but did not do so this year. It’s unclear if Meadows was instrumental in opposing the idea of the rainbow lights or if others were involved in the decision.
Instead of the Pride Month gesture, and in an effort to woo LGBTQ voters in the run-up to the November election, Melania Trump instead filmed a video for the Log Cabin Republicans in which she expressed shock that anyone might think her husband held anti-gay views.
“I was shocked to discover that some of these powerful people have tried to paint my husband as anti-gay or against equality,” she said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Donald loves helping people, and he loves seeing those around him and his country succeed.”
Advocacy group GLAAD is keeping a running count of attacks the Trump administration has made on LGBTQ people since taking office. It currently stands at 181 anti-LGBTQ statements or measures over the 1,401 days of his (soon-to-end) Presidency.
The White House has previously been lit in rainbow lights. The Obamas allowed it to happen when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015. On that occasion, then-FLOTUS Michelle Obama even snuck out of the White House to see supporters of gay marriage celebrating in front of the White House and to check out the lights.
Neither the White House nor the First Lady’s office have responded to the claims she wanted rainbow lights for Pride Month.