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After Three Years Attacking L.G.B.T.Q. Rights, Trump Suddenly Tries Outreach


Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest L.G.B.T.Q. civil rights group, responded, “We’re not taking the bait.”

For years, now, Mr. David said, the president has tried to divide the coalition by targeting transgender people in particular, with actions that affect the entire coalition.

“The Trump administration is looking to drive a wedge within the L.G.B.T.Q. community between L.G.B. and T.,” Mr. David said.

Tori Cooper, the group’s director of community engagement for the transgender justice initiative, said that the administration in is especially focused on people who have the least protection in society, transgender people of color.

“It shows the cowardice — that’s the word I like to use of the current president,” Ms. Cooper said.

The targeting of transgender people has extended across the federal government: a ban on transgender service in the military, an effort at the Education Department to block transgender students from choosing which bathroom to use, the rollback of health care protections by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department’s move to end protections for transgender people in federal prisons.

Last month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed allowing homeless shelters to deny transgender people access to single-sex shelters, and this month, the Education Department’s office of civil rights publicly moved to block transgender girls from joining female track teams in Connecticut high schools.

Mr. Grenell, in the video, cited almost no specific domestic policy accomplishment that Mr. Trump achieved on L.G.B.T.Q. rights, as he made the pitch that Mr. Trump is the “most pro-gay president in American history.” Instead, Mr. Grenell referred to his own appointment, as well as to the president’s acceptance of the Supreme Court’s ruling of gay marriage as constitutional and his efforts to push countries that criminalize being gay to end those practices. In the video, Mr. Grenell specifically mentioned gays and lesbians, but not transgender people.

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