NEWS

White House Facebook Page Snubs Gay Prime Minister's Husband, Fixes It After Backlash

28/05/2017 9:30 AM IST | Updated 29/05/2017 5:26 AM IST
YORICK JANSENS via Getty Images
(Front row LtoR) First Lady of Turkey Emine Gulbaran Erdogan, First Lady of the US Melania Trump, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, (back row, LtoR) First Gentleman of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, partner of Slovenia's Prime Minister Mojca Stropnik and First Lady of Iceland Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir pose for a family photo before a diner of the First Ladies and Queen at the Royal castle in Laken/Laeken, on May 25, 2017, in Brussels. / AFP PHOTO / BELGA / YORICK JANSENS / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read YORICK JANSENS/AFP/Getty Images)
YORICK JANSENS via Getty Images
The spouses of NATO leaders gather for a photo before dinner at the Royal Castle in Laeken.

People are slamming the White House after a photo was posted to its Facebook on Saturday with one glaring omission.

The photo, posted to an album titled “President Trump’s Trip Abroad,” featured the spouses of NATO leaders gathering before dinner at the Royal Castle of Laeken in Brussels. 

The caption initially named all the spouses of NATO leaders who were posing in the photo ― except for one: Gauthier Destenay, the first gentleman of Luxembourg and husband to Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

Twitter users were quick to point out the missing name and accused the White House of doing it on purpose. Scott Bixby of The Daily Beast called the caption “homophobic.”

A White House spokeswoman told Chris Johnson, a reporter for the LGBTQ political news site Washington Blade, that the omission was likely an “oversight.”

“Thousands of photos were taken over the course of a very big, very busy international trip,” deputy press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Johnson in an email that was shared on Twitter.

Ten hours after the photo was posted, and less than one hour after Johnson tweeted Grisham’s response, the White House edited the caption to include Destenay and his official title.

By then, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, and the watchdogs of Twitter had already called the White House out.

Facebook/The White House

Bettel and Destenay were in a civil partnership when Bettel became Prime Minister in 2013. They officially married two years later, when Luxembourg legalized marriage equality in 2015. Bettle is the only openly gay prime minister in the world.

People celebrated Destenay after photos of him with other world leaders’ spouses were published Friday. Some called his presence in the photo a symbol of equality for the LGBTQ community.

Though officials edited the original Facebook caption to include Destenay, some of the photo’s most-liked comments, including one from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, are a clear reminder of the mistake the White House made.

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