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After Omission, White House Adds Gay Prime Minister's Spouse to Photo Caption

The exclusion of Luxembourg's Gauthier Destenay from the photo caption led some critics to accuse the White House of homophobia.

by John Paul Brammer /
(Front row, L-R) First Lady of France Brigitte Macron, First Lady of Turkey Emine Gulbaran Erdogan, First Lady of the US Melania Trump, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg's partner Ingrid Schulerud, Partner of Bulgaria's President Desislava Radeva, Belgian Prime Minister Michel's partner Amelie Derbaudrenghien, (back row, L-R) First Gentleman of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, Slovenia's Prime Minister's partner Mojca Stropnik and First Lady of Iceland Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir in Brussels, Belgium, on May 25, 2017.Sascha Steinbach / EPA

The White House quietly added Gauthier Destenay, the husband of Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, to the caption of an official photograph of the spouses of NATO leaders on Sunday after initially omitting his name.

The exclusion of Destenay from the caption led some critics to accuse the White House of homophobia. In a Twitter post, Daily Beast's Scott Bixby was among the first to call attention to the omission.

Destenay, an architect, married Bettel in 2015, becoming the first same-sex spouse of a leader of a European Union nation. The photograph in question was taken at the NATO summit in Brussels last week and was posted to the White House Facebook page along with other photos from President Donald Trump's international tour.

The addition of Destenay's name is recorded on the Facebook post's edit history as taking place on Sunday. First Lady Melania Trump's name is included twice in both captions.

In an email to LGBTQ publication Washington Blade, Stephanie Grisham, a White House spokesperson, attributed the omission to an oversight.

Destenay's omission wasn't the only incident from President Trump's international tour that raised eyebrows. His white-knuckle handshake with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, which Macron said "wasn't innocent," also garnered attention, as did a photograph of President Trump placing his hand on an orb with Saudi Arabia's King Salman.

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