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Perfect choice: President Barack Obama named “Ally of the Year” for OUT’s 2105 OUT100 Issue

On the day the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states,  President Barack Obama gave a speech in the Rose Garden that I will never forget.

At one point, his words made me weep.

So it is fitting that Obama would be on the cover of OUT magazine’s OUT100 issue as the  “Ally of the Year.”  This marks the first time in history that a sitting President has been photographed for the cover of an LGBT publication, an historic moment in an historic year.

Here are some excerpts from his interview:

On his administration’s key focus on LGBT equality:
“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. 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.”

On the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision:

“There had been a remarkable attitude shift—in hearts and minds—across America. The ruling reflected that. It reflected our values as a nation founded on the principle that we are all created equal. And, by the way, it was decades of our brothers and sisters fighting for recognition and equality—and too frequently risking their lives or facing rejection from family, friends, and co-workers—that got us to that moment. So I wasn’t surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision, but, like millions of Americans, 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.”

On the controversy surrounding Kentucky clerk Kim Davis:

“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. That’s something we’ve got to respect.”

On the first influential gay person in his life:

“I’m not sure who the first openly gay person I met was, but Dr. Lawrence Goldyn, one of my college professors, is a man who stands out to me. I took his class freshman year at Occidental. I was probably 18 years old—Lawrence was one of the younger professors—and we became good friends. He went out of his way to advice lesbian, gay, and transgender students at Occidental, and keep in mind, this was 1978. That took a lot of courage, a lot of confidence in who you are and what you stand for. I got to recognize Lawrence last year at our Pride Month reception at the White House, and thank him for influencing the way I think about so many of these issues.”

On the generational difference in the attitudes towards homosexuality:

“To Malia and Sasha and their friends, discrimination in any form against anyone doesn’t make sense. 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.”

FILE UNDER: Straight Allies


(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

6 Remarks

  1. Preferred choice for Ally of the Year by the LGBT community would have been the five members of the U.S. Supreme Court whose votes advance the cause of equality by many, many decades. Their votes were true acts of righteous bravery.

  2. I agree. Perfect choice! I don’t think well get a president like Barack Obama who’s this strong an ally again for a while. I suspect the pendulum will be swinging to the right.

  3. Supremes are the Advocate’s People of the Year – OUT Mag’s sister publication

  4. Because President Obama is so beloved amongst African Americans his support helped sway a large portion of black people to the side of equality for all LGBT Americans so I definitely think this was the greatest choice. The Supreme Court helped us along the way achieve marriage equality but President Obama actually changed peoples minds about us.

  5. And I would also like to add that not everyone on the Supreme Court wanted us to be equal.

  6. I’m so dumb and ‘Kelly Bundy-esque’ (Love Kelly a.k.a. Christine Applegate, who just proved that it takes hard work for a Brunette to play a seriously dumb Blonde…..I’m not nowhere near as HOT as she was but as far as being so-over-it and completely ‘Clueless’ Cher a.k.a. Alicia Silverstone, another fabulous Blonde but not that smart, which is OKAY in my books) that would be me when it comes to politics because truly I know it separate people in a way I can’t even describe if I wanted too. However, President Obama would be my top-choice because he was so willing to see the LGTB community be a part of everyday society and that made so much sense to and for me. Someone mentioned how the President was a favored among African-Americans which I found to be true but you must remember that there are only 18% of African-Americans in the United States (that might be give some, take some away) so President Obama was literally elected twice on the fact that he was and is a great President, regardless of and in spite of. He won’t get that credit for doing anything good, just like ex-President Bill Clinton would be a great President but because he got a BJ in The Oval Office he would go down for just that and nothing else he would do…………”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was his baby and both of these Presidents would be ‘The People’s Choice’ and especially young people and the LGTB choice………Thanks to ‘Samantha’ from ‘Sex and The City’ (a.k.a Kim C.) views on Presidents would be different because the characters views basically would refer to a President being someone you would want to sleep with and I have to shame ‘the devil’ and tell the truth, President Obama is good looking (big ears and all) and really attractive. Ex-President Clinton when he was in the office was bad to look at and the fact that he was a ‘big flirt’ didn’t hurt. I know most people didn’t think anything about ex-President Bush (the son) but he was and still is a nice looking man. Maybe just call me a ‘willing slut’ and just love men but I know good-looking men and average Joes and none of these men that I mention would be average. Besides being ‘ THE MAN IN CHARGE’ with all that power does up your good-looking factor. Okay, all of these men have made some huge mistakes but we are all human, so there is no need for me especially to throw stones in my glass house that I live in, besides I’m not the leader of the ‘free world’ like they were and are……..
    ‘President Obama is a Baldwin!!!!!!!!!!!’

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