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President Obama and Ellen DeGeneres praise each other for their efforts on behalf of gay rights

This is beautiful and it’s all so true about both of these remarkable people who have done so much to make the lives of gay people better.

Ellen DeGeneres got high praise on her show today from President Barack Obama for her role in helping to change the attitudes of Americans towards gay people.

‘As much as we’ve done with laws and ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ et cetera, changing hearts and minds — I don’t think anybody has been more influential than you on that,’ Obama told DeGeneres during an episode of her popular talk show that aired Friday.

‘I really mean that,’ Obama added. ‘You being willing to claim who you were, that suddenly empowers other people. And then suddenly, it’s your brother, it’s your uncle, it’s your best friend, it’s your coworkers. And then attitudes shift. And the law is followed, but it started with folks like you. I’m so proud of you.’

DeGeneres, who came out publicly in 1997 at the same time her character on her ABC sitcom did, got tearful upon hearing these words from Obama.

But she still couldn’t resist making a joke.

‘Well, thank you,’ she said, ‘I’m not really gay. But, on TV, you play one and it’s great. I just thought it would work and I’ve had to stick with it, because people were responding.’

The lovefest began when DeGeneres thanked Obama for his efforts on gay rights such as becoming the first sitting US president to publicly support same-sex marriage.

‘I cannot tell you, or thank you enough, for what you’ve done for the gay community’ she said. ‘So, thank you.’

Obama said his efforts on behalf of LGBTI equality are ‘one of the things I’m proudest of because my whole political career has been based on the idea that we constantly want to include people and not exclude them.’

‘How do we bring more and more people into opportunity and success and feeling hopeful about their lives?’

As a gay person who has been keeping track of these things, I want to say thank you Ellen, thank you Mr. President.

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