Bizarre: NY Times Criticizes Trump for...Moving to Decriminalize Homosexuality?

June 4th, 2019 4:46 PM

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell (who's openly gay) launched an international campaign earlier this year to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide, paying particular attention to countries like Iran, where the act carries the death penalty. President Trump recently publicized the initiative on Twitter. A grudging win for Trump from the socially liberal media, right? Not at all.

New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers’ Saturday story claimed “Trump’s Celebration of L.G.B.T. Rights Is Met With Criticism.” If not quite as brazenly hostile and perversely petulant as Out Magazine’s infamous February story “Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic,” it’s in the ballpark.

Rogers impressively didn’t give Trump a single second of approving or even neutral coverage for his liberal activism before heading straight into criticism before the first sentence was over (click “expand”):

President Trump has said that his administration would lead an effort to decriminalize homosexuality around the world, eliciting condemnation from activists who pointed to the administration’s moves to dismantle protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The administration also stood “in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation,” Mr. Trump said on Friday on Twitter, nodding to Pride Month for the first time since he took office. In remarks that were circulated a day later as an official statement from the White House, he added, “My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invites all nations to join us in this effort!”

The president was referring to an initiative championed by Richard Grenell, the American ambassador to Germany, that was introduced in February. His tweets seemed to signal that he had come a long way in supporting the plan. Asked about the initiative at the time, Mr. Trump told reporters he did not know about it. But this time, critics immediately seized on the president’s comments, saying the administration had undermined civil rights at home.


During his run for the presidency, Mr. Trump stood out in a crowded conservative field for his comparative acceptance of gay marriage as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Those views had long predated the campaign....

But Mr. Trump’s election victory was delivered, in part, by the religious right, a group that defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman -- Mike Pence, the vice president and an evangelical Christian, has similarly defined marriage this way. Since Mr. Trump’s election, the administration has delivered a series of policy decisions that L.G.B.T. advocates consider dangerous to their civil rights.

Rolling back overreaching Obama initiatives from a few years ago was portrayed as undermining civil rights:

In 2017, Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that transgender people would be banned from serving in the military. In April, a policy went into effect that requires troops and recruits to use uniforms, pronouns and sleeping and bathroom facilities for their biological sex, even if they identify as transgender. And in May, the administration formally moved to roll back Obama-era regulations that were meant to protect transgender medical patients and health insurance consumers. And last year, the Department of Health and Human Services circulated a memo across departments that sought to narrowly define gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.

“You want to define transgender people out of existence,” a Twitter account for the Democratic National Committee wrote to Mr. Trump. “Your record speaks for itself, and a single tweet won’t change that.”

It’s revealing that the official Democratic Party language matches almost exactly how the “objective” New York Times described the matter in October 2018, when the memo first surfaced, in the online headline to its lead story: “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration.” After being "defined into existence" just a few years ago.

Mr. Trump has also appointed two Supreme Court justices whom advocates see as hostile to gay, bisexual and transgender individuals....

Naturally, Rogers buried positive commentary at the end:

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told reporters on Friday that Mr. Trump’s efforts should be applauded, pointing out that President Barack Obama, whose administration oversaw a series of regulations meant to protect L.G.B.T. rights, did not initially take office as a public defender of same-sex marriage.

This was not Rogers' first strange attack on Trump. In August 2017 a front-page story went after his family’s eating habits. She prefers to fawn over Democrats, like this silly story about Chelsea Clinton celebrating her Twitter feed.