Changes to official U.S. government websites are already startling social justice advocates

President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.
Image: APAndrew Harnik / Associated Press

Changes made to official U.S. government websites in the dawn of Donald Trump’s presidency are already alarming people invested in social justice causes.

Most of the changes activists have pointed out were made to the official White House website,, outlining Trump’s policies on criminal justice and immigration. There are no mentions of LGBTQ rights.

Under the “Top Issues” section of the site is a Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community page, which suggests the path to safer communities lies in “more law enforcement, more community engagement and more effective policing.”

“The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.”

“The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong,” the site reads. “The Trump Administration will end it.”

This strong statement alludes to outrage and protests by activists against instances of police violence, which has targeted the black community for years. It notably spurred the Black Lives Matter movement in 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin a campaign that often critiques mass incarceration and imagines how policing could better serve communities of color.

Black Lives Matter activist and Campaign Zero cofounder Brittany Packnett, a member of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, recently told Mashable that the task force would not continue under President Trump. The task force was responsible for imagining how police could regain the trust of citizens, and how public safety could be improved through cooperation.

The new section of the site now asserts the importance of gun ownership laws, stating that the Second Amendment is an asset to policing overall.

“Supporting law enforcement means supporting our citizens ability to protect themselves,” it reads. “We will uphold Americans’ Second Amendment rights at every level of our judicial system.”

“Supporting law enforcement also means deporting illegal aliens with violent criminal records who have remained within our borders.”

The Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community section also suggests that undocumented immigrants contribute to violence in the U.S., pointing to deportations and Trump’s infamous wall as a way to solve the asserted threat.

“President Trump is committed to building a border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities,” the website says. “Supporting law enforcement also means deporting illegal aliens with violent criminal records who have remained within our borders.”

The statement includes language long known to be offensive, most notably the phrase “illegal aliens.”

The LGBTQ community has also noticed the removal of web pages that included their identities and issues. The official White House website has removed its LGBTQ-dedicated page, which, according to a cached version of the site, previously championed President Obama’s dedication to engaging with the community.

It may not be a surprise that a page promoting Obama’s legacy and advocacy was removed, but the fact that it was not replaced with something else is leaving activists particularly worried. Throughout the early evening of Trump’s inauguration, the “not found page” now displayed on was one of the most visited pages on the official site.

Searches for the key words “transgender,” “LGBTQ” and “LGBT” on the official White House site turn up no results at the time of writing.

A search for “gay” turns up one result, but the word is not used in reference to the queer community. Instead, the search brings up a First Lady bio of Grace Coolidge, which says she offset her husband’s shyness with “gay friendliness.”

LGBTQ activists also identified the apparent removal of a report on the U.S. Department of Labor website, titled “Advancing LGBT Workplace Rights.” The report, which was created under President Obama, champions the “exciting progress” seen toward LGBTQ equality, but emphasizes the “struggle remains unfinished.”

The cached version of the report shows that it outlined Obama’s plan on workplace equality for LGBTQ workers, including plans for equal recognition of all families in workplace policies and special protections for transgender workers.

LGBTQ advocates have said the website changes stand in stark contrast to the commitment Obama made to the community on the first day of his presidency.

BONUS: Are Schools Bullying Trans Students?

Read more: