President Barack Obama has accomplished many firsts during his time in office, but he can now add one more to that long list.
The commander in chief has become the first U.S. president to grace the cover of an LGBT publication.
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Out magazine has named Obama its “Ally of the Year” in the new Out100 issue, which lists the LBGT communities 100 most influential people.
“One of the reasons I got involved in politics was to help deliver on our promise that we’re all created equal, and that no one should be excluded from the American dream just because of who they are,” Obama explains. “That’s why, in the Senate, I supported repealing DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act]. It’s why, when I ran for president the first time, I publicly asked for the support of the LGBT community, and promised that we could bring about real change for LGBT Americans.”
Obama also spoke about the pride he felt after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, a 5-4 Supreme Court case that gave same sex couples the right to get married.
“There had been a remarkable attitude shift—in hearts and minds—across America. The ruling reflected that,” he says. “It reflected our values as a nation founded on the principle that we are all created equal.”
“I was proud and happy that it came down the way it did—and I was honored to stand in the Rose Garden and reiterate for every American that we are strongest, that we are most free, when all of us are treated equally. I was proud to say that love is love.”
Despite the many changes, the controversy surrounding Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis still bothers him.
“I am a man of faith and believe deeply in religious freedom, but at the end of the day, nobody is above the rule of law—especially someone who voluntarily takes an oath to uphold that law,” he says of Davis, who was briefly jailed earlier this year for refusing to sign marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples wanting to tie the knot. “That’s something we’ve got to respect.”
The president also says he hopes to see open minded values continue to become the norm among this generation, something he proudly observes in his daughters.
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“To Malia and Sasha and their friends, discrimination in any form against anyone doesn’t make sense,” he explains. “It doesn’t dawn on them that friends who are gay or friends’ parents who are same-sex couples should be treated differently than anyone else. That’s powerful.”
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