The Trump administration has a nasty habit of deleting information from government websites. And the latest cuts focused on the health of the LGBTQ community.
Information about LGBT health was removed from the Department of Health and Human Services website, watchdog group the Sunlight Foundation discovered on Wednesday. In fact, no health topic pages specifically relate to LGBT health on the site anymore. Since taking office, the Trump administration has removed at least three other in-depth mentions of LGBT issues from government websites.
In fall 2017, HHS’ Office of Women’s Health, which is responsible for working to advance women’s health issues, removed its webpage with extensive information about the health of lesbian and bisexual women, according to the Sunlight Foundation. The office is one of the health department’s most-trafficked websites, with about 700,000 visits last month, according to The Hill.
The page focused on issues relating to lesbian and bisexual women, and included questions like "What factors put lesbians' and bisexual women's health at risk?” and “What challenges do lesbian and bisexual women face in the healthcare system?”
Now, only a PDF document, last updated in 2009, answers these questions on HHS’ website. And it’s not linked to throughout the website nor easily accessible without searching the site specifically, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
The Sunlight Foundation also found that “bisexual and lesbian health” was removed from the website’s A-Z health topics.
An HHS spokesperson told Politico that the lesbian and bisexual health pages were outdated and removed during a routine update. The spokesperson also said the information is still available elsewhere on the website. HHS did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
But the removal is far from the first time the government has deleted or avoided LGBT issues from their sites and plans since President Trump took office:
- In January 2017, the State Department removed nearly every mention of LGBT issues.
- In March 2017, the Census Bureau concluded they no longer needed to ask about sexual orientation and gender identity on their survey, which helps determine how to distribute hundreds of billions of federal dollars.
- In June 2017, HHS stopped including a question on sexuality on its federal survey, but the question was restored after an outcry from LGBT advocates.
- In October 2017, HHS removed all mentions of the LGBT population and their health needs in their Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2018-2022.
Since Trump took office, the administration has routinely deleted other information that conflicts with the views of its officials, as well. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy have systematically scrubbed their websites of words like “climate change” and “global warming.” The administration also removed information on the crisis after the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, making access to information much more difficult for bilingual people.
Cover image: New York City Heritage of Pride March filled Fifth Avenue for hours with groups from the LGBT community and its supporters. Marchers carry a banner reading "Make America gay again," a dig at President Trump's campaign slogan. (Ed Lefkowicz / VWPics via AP Images)