“Part of being American is having a responsibility to stand up for freedom – not just our own freedom, but for everybody’s freedom. Our individual stories come together to make one large American story.”
So said Barack Obama in Out Magazine, becoming the first ever US president to appear on the cover of an LGBT publication. He was interviewed by Out after being named their Ally of the Year, a title he received for his work on same sex marriage across the States, and his support for the community as a whole.
Talking to Out, Obama said the “fundamental right to marry should be guaranteed to LGBT couples” and that when the Supreme Court of the US agreed, it was a “proud and happy” moment for him. It will be a significant legacy he leaves too – not only the first black president, but also the only one to stand up for LGBT rights in such a vocal way. Under his administration, not only has same sex marriage law been passed, but the military’s outdated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed, something Obama had actually used during his campaign.
Obama says he believes firmly that “love is love” – a succinct message that many have taken to their hearts. It was this kind of campaigning, this no-nonsense attitude, that helped usher in the Supreme Court’s announcement on June 26th of this year that LGBT couples would finally be allowed to marry, and that their partnerships would be afforded the same recognition in law.
He said that this decision proved that there was a “remarkable attitude shift -in hearts and minds – across America”, and it will not be forgotten by many that this attitude shift happened on his watch. While his presidency may yet be associated with other, less admirable policies, the LGBT community of the States will be happy that he took a stand.
This happened. For the first time a sitting US President was photographed for a cover of a gay magazine. pic.twitter.com/Jiih3YNwz4
— Aaron Hicklin (@Aaronhicklin) November 10, 2015