A report has concluded that that President Obama’s unprecedented usage of words including “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual” and “transgender” in his public statements is contributing to growing support for LGBT equality in America.
The report, which also examines the public statements of former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, found that President Obama has used the word “gay” more than any of his predecessors – 272 times.
The report shows that during President Obama’s time in office, support for marriage equality has exploded from 40 percent in 2008 to 53 percent in 2013.
“Words matter an enormous amount, and when President Obama uses his platform to declare that LGBT people are just as American as anyone else, it has a huge and historic effect. President Obama has helped the American people get to know LGBT people on a personal level, and evidence suggests that when people know us, they don’t want to discriminate against us,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
The report noted that since President Obama has been in office, the percentage of Americans who support marriage equality has risen from 40 percent in 2008 to 53 percent in 2013, according to Gallup polling.
It also found that immediately following President Obama’s 2012 endorsement of same-sex marriage, the number of African-Americans who supported marriage equality skyrocketed to 59 percent, up from an average of 41 percent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
“President Obama has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of LGBT people, and the power of his rhetoric has been an essential part of that legacy,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
In the last two years there has been an upsurge in the number of US states that have legalised same-sex marriage. Gay and lesbian couples can now marry in 17 states – California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont – and in Washington, DC.