Donald Trump holds an LGBT+ rainbow flag during a campaign rally in 2016
We all know that Donald Trump has no shame but you might have thought even he would think twice before hawking merchandise to cash in on Pride Month.
Not after banning trans people from serving in the US military, surely? Even he couldn't hope to win votes from the LGBT+ community in 2020 after implementing such an overtly prejudicial law, could he?
And yet, here it is.
SO the Trump campaign is selling pride shirts... Please my fellow LGBTQ+ people, if you support that trash heap, we… https://t.co/N2jN707m3x
For just $24 (£18.95) - generously discounted from $30 (£23) - you, yes you, could be the lucky owner of an "LGBTQ for Trump" T-shirt.
The sales pitch on his site reads:
Show your pride and your support for Trump with this exclusive equality tee.
Any profits of course benefit the Trump-Pence campaign rather than, say, gay rights organisations.
The shirts are on sale alongside a host of bad taste items mocking the Mueller investigation.
Others bearing the legends "Collusion Delusion" and "Witch Hunt!" are also available, conveniently overlooking the fact that the FBI special counsel found no fewer than 11 instances of obstruction of justice by the president in his 448-page dossier on Russian election hacking, which were only quashed because Trump had appointed attorney general William Barr to his post precisely to do just that.
You can also get MAGA swimming shorts (!), a #buildthewall shirt and even a Trump-branded baby's romper suit through his official site. Yeesh.
Anyway... The trans gender military ban is not the only anti-LGBT+ measure the president has instigated since taking office.
Despite brandishing a rainbow flag on the campaign trail in Colorado in October 2016, he has repeatedly refused to acknowledge Pride Month, rolled back a slew of Obama-era protections for trans people and declined to appoint an LGBT+ liaison to the White House.
Trump's vice-president, Mike Pence, a devout Christian, also has a long history of voting against inclusive legislation in his native Indiana and has in the past been an advocate of gay conversion therapy, so quite how this administration could expect the community to back it at the ballot box is unfathomable.
That said, the Trump White House did announce a global programme to tackle the criminalisation of homosexuality in March. Although the president himself had never actually heard of it so perhaps that hardly counts.
Trump has no idea about his administration’s push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world, per WH transcrip… https://t.co/3dEQPUlTjU
On the new T-shirt - of which Trump can only seriously hope to pick up a few ironic sales, at best - Zeke Stokes of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) commented:
The Trump administration is trying to pull yet another con job on LGBTQ Americans, but like their other desperate ploys, this idea will fall flat.
Trump should hold the sales pitch and try issuing a statement honouring June as National Pride Month and the countless of LGBTQ Americans who fought tooth and nail for the level of acceptance our nation sees today.