05/28/2017 12:00 am ET | Updated 1 day ago

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

A spokesperson said the omission was likely an “oversight.” Others called it “homophobic.”

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.”

Is there a reason the @WhiteHouse didn’t include the First Gentleman of Luxembourg in this photo caption?

Like, a non-homophobic one?

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

White House official Facebook page does not list First Gentleman of Luxembourg in the caption. He is gay and married to the Prime Minister

Me judging the shit out of the White House FB for excluding the First Gentleman of Luxembourg’s name in their NATO Spouses post.

Didn’t believe this so looked myself. First gentleman of Luxembourg not listed in the caption with spouses of NATO leaders. No class @POTUS

White House post pic from NATO summit listing spouses of leaders. Not listed? Gauthier Destenay, husband of gay Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel.

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.

White House spokesperson tells me she’s sure omission of same-sex spouse from photo of NATO first spouses was “oversight.”


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.