In the first week of the Trump administration, a historic apology by John Kerry has been deleted from the State Department’s website.
America’s most powerful diplomat earlier this month issued a formal apology for discrimination “on the basis of perceived sexual orientation.”
The apology applies to US diplomats who gave experienced prejudice and discrimination over the years.
Kerry has issued a statement saying that discrimination against LGBT State Department workers has gone on since the 1940s.
In a strongly worded statement, he says denying some people jobs and forcing diplomats out of the foreign service was “wrong then” and “wrong today.”
But the apology disappeared some time after Sunday.
The Wayback Machine, which shows archived versions of websites, shows that the apology was still showing as recently as Sunday.
Other information relating to the State Department’s special envoy for the human rights of LGBT persons, as well as Pride month observances has gone missing from the site.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) expressed concerns about the missing information.
“With each passing hour, the Trump administration continues to show the extent of their contempt for the enormous progress made over the past eight years,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
“Secretary Kerry’s apology to LGBTQ employees and their families who were targeted, harassed, and fired set the right tone for the State Department, even if it couldn’t undo the damage done decades ago. It is outrageous that the new administration would attempt to erase from the record this historic apology for witch hunts that destroyed the lives of innocent Americans. The apology, along with the other important LGBTQ content that has been removed, should immediately be restored, and President Trump should condemn such behaviour at all departments and agencies.”
The press secretary for the Trump administration also today said he “doesn’t know” whether the new President will repeal discrimination protections for LGBT people.
The Trump administration took control at the weekend, immediately deleting all mention of LGBT rights from the White House website.
As Donald Trump and Mike Pence were sworn in today, a mostly-seamless transition took place online, with the new administration taking control of the official Presidential media channels.
But amid the exchanges of Twitter account handles and Facebook profiles, the official White House website has also been relaunched reflecting the new administration’s agenda.
The new President has never released a policy plan on LGBT issues, and also has no policy plan on HIV/AIDS. He failed to detail policies on either issue during his election campaign.
One of the new President’s only direct policy pledges it to sign the Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, a law that would permit forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion.