Dems hit Trump on National Coming Out Day
© Camille Fine

Democrats are slamming President Trump on National Coming Out day, with the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) calling the Trump administration "openly hostile to LGBTQ people."

“Unfortunately, this year’s celebration is clouded by a presidency that is openly hostile to LGBTQ people. Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump Right way and wrong way Five things to know about the elephant trophies controversy MORE, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSome WH aides anxious over Russia probe despite reassurances from Trump lawyer: report Paul Krugman unwittingly fulfills fiscal fantasies for Republicans Ex-Pence aide on Rosie: She promised to leave US if Trump won and she's still here MORE, and their administration began attacking the LGBTQ community on their first day in office," said DNC Chairman Thomas PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE and DNC LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes in a statement. 

"They retracted the Department of Education’s guidance on transgender students, abandoned America’s global leadership role on LGBTQ rights, proposed cuts to HIV/AIDS testing and care, and just last week reinterpreted the law to give businesses a license to discriminate."

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a separate statement that the administration is engaged in a "mean-spirited and malicious campaign against LGBT Americans."

"The White House's 'License to Discriminate' guidelines are the latest assault on the rights of the LGBT community and open the floodgates to cruel, immoral discrimination against vulnerable Americans," the California Democrat added, referring to a memo issued by the Justice Department establishing federal guidelines on religious liberty. 

Trump signed a controversial but largely symbolic executive order in May calling to "vigorously promote religious liberty" and preventing the IRS from punishing and taking "adverse action" against nonprofit religious groups who engage in political speech but do not make official political endorsements. It offers exemptions for religious groups from participating in activities that they say violate their religious convictions.

The Human Rights Campaign, a leading civil rights group, said the guidelines allow for a "sweeping license to discriminate" against vulnerable groups for giving "legal cover" to those who violate discrimination laws. 

A 20-page memo issued by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFederal judge rules Trump defunding sanctuary cities 'unconstitutional on its face' FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Alabama election has GOP racing against the clock MORE in October reinforces religious liberty as a fundamental human right, which “includes the right to act or abstain from action in accordance with one’s religious beliefs.”