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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Trump properties included on IGLTA's 'LGBTQ-friendly' list
by Matt Simonette
2017-07-06

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Three Trump properties, among them the Trump International Hotel & Tower in downtown Chicago, have been named "LGBTQ-friendly businesses" by the Fort Lauderdale-based International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association ( IGLTA ), despite President Donald J. Trump's tumultuous relationship with the LGBT community. IGLTA officials, on July 6, defended that inclusion, noting that the hotels were owned independently of Trump and had met the organization's criteria.

The Chicago property was alongside the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and the Trump SoHo New York on a list of partners released on July 5.

In a statement to Windy City Times, IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella said, "IGLTA is a member-based travel association promoting LGBTQ friendly travel options. IGLTA also aims to support and educate businesses that want to better respond to the needs of LGBTQ clients.

"The Trump branded properties which are current members of IGLTA are independently owned hotels and not owned by Mr. Trump."

Tanzella further notedt, "Of the three properties that are IGLTA members, two have been with the organization since 2012. Trump SoHo is owned by a California-based real estate investment company; Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and Chicago are condo hotels where each unit is individually owned; and these properties have hosted numerous same-sex weddings in its banquet and event space. Their catering sales associates have also completed the Gay Wedding Institute Certification Course to better serve the LGBT wedding market."

The Unicorn Booty blog, which broke the story, noted that a 2011 Change.org petition asked IGLTA to reject Trump properties. Organization officials at the time said they would reconsider the matter.

The Trump administration has committed several missteps with respect to the LGBT community. The president, for example, has professed support for so-called "religious freedom" laws that would in principle shield individuals from charges of anti-LGBT discrimination should those actions be based in a person's religious convictions; on a number of occasions, advocates have mobilized for an executive order—which never materialized—allowing such rules to be more easily slipped into place. Six members of the White House's HIV/AIDS advisory council resigned, citing the administration's indifference to the epidemic. Trump officials also rejected the previous administration's position that transgender students should be given access to school facilities in line with the gender with which they identify. Lastly, the White House did not acknowledge June as Gay Pride month.

On June 20, Trump's Chicago hotel was briefly illuminated in rainbow colors, presumably in recognition of Pride celebrations the following weekend. NBC 5 tweeted a photo of the display, but, according to the JoeMyGod.com blog, it was then not re-illuminated on subsequent evenings. The hotel has been the site of several anti-Trump demonstrations.

Unicorn Booty's article is at bit.ly/2uu9IiH. The joemygod.com article is athttp://bit.ly/2uubv7p .


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