White House omits Luxembourg’s gay first gentleman from photo caption

Screenshot/Facebook

The White House posted a photo of the queen of Belgium along with the spouses of the NATO leaders last night. They omitted one person from the caption: the husband of Luxembourg’s prime minister, Gauthier Destenay.

In 2015, Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel married Destenay, an architect originally from Belgium. Bettel is the first leader of a European Union member-state to marry someone of the same sex.

Destenay attended the NATO summit at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels, as did the spouses of some of the other world leaders. So he was naturally included in the photo of the spouses with the queen of Belgium, but whoever posted it to the White House’s Facebook feed did not included his name even though he is clearly visible.

The caption also mentioned Melania Trump twice and got the date wrong:

First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of Nato leaders: First Lady Emine Erdoğan of Turkey; Iceland’s Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir; the First Lady of France Brigitte Trogneux; First Lady Melania Trump; Slovenia’s Mojca Stropnik; Bulgaria’s Desislava Radeva; Belgium’s Amélie Derbaudrenghien, and Norway’s Ingrid Schulerud, during their visit Thursday 25 May 2917, at the Royal Palace in Brussels. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

This led to some outrage on Facebook, with commenters accusing the White House of homophobia.

Screenshot/Facebook
Screenshot/Facebook

GLAAD left a comment.

Screenshot/Facebook

And someone reminded everyone that it’s also disrespectful to Luxembourg.

Screenshot/Facebook

Nine hours after it was posted, the caption was edited to include Destenay. Whoever did the editing, though, did not remove the double-mention of Trump or fix the date.

Screenshot/Facebook

First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of NATO leaders: First Lady Emine Erdoğan of Turkey; Iceland’s Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir; the First Lady of France Brigitte Trogneux; First Lady Melania Trump; Slovenia’s Mojca Stropnik; Bulgaria’s Desislava Radeva; Luxembourg’s Gauthier Destenay; Belgium’s Amélie Derbaudrenghien, and Norway’s Ingrid Schulerud, during their visit Thursday, May 25, 2917, at the Royal Palace in Brussels. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

It’s definitely possible that this was simply an accidental omission – the Trump administration isn’t known for its attention to detail or competence. No one from the White House corrected the other details.

Still, everyone else was named in the caption, and considering the views of most of Trump’s prominent appointees and his support for religious exemptions for conservative Christian workers on LGBTQ or women’s issues, it wouldn’t be surprising if an aide decided that their Deeply Held Religious Beliefs don’t permit them to mention the name of a gay person.

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