President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama has once again proclaimed the month of June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, noting that it has been 45 years since the Stonewall Riots ignited the LGBT rights movement.
In an official Presidential Proclamation on Friday, he celebrated recent advances in American LGBT equality, such as the wave of same-sex marriage victories in a number of states, but acknowledged that work remains.
“…let us honour every brave leader who stood up, sat in, and came out, as well as the allies who supported them along the way. Following their example, let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity – because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too,” Obama said.
He stated that his administration would continue to extend family and spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, from immigration benefits to military family benefits.
Ho noted that “LGBT workers in too many states can be fired just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity” and said that he would “continue to call on the Congress to correct this injustice by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.”
The president also addressed LGBTI inequality in other countries.
“Our commitment to advancing equality for the LGBT community extends far beyond our borders. In many places around the globe, LGBT people face persecution, arrest, or even state-sponsored execution. This is unacceptable. The United States calls on every nation to join us in defending the universal human rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters,” said Obama.
He concluded by calling on “the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.”
Pride is traditionally celebrated in the US, and in a number of other countries, in June. Obama first proclaimed it as LGBT Pride Month in 2009; the first-ever American president to do so.