President Barack Obama has officially proclaimed the month of June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
Pride is traditionally celebrated in the USA in June, marking the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riots. Obama first proclaimed it as LGBT Pride Month in 2009; the first-ever American president to do so.
“We are not truly equal until every person is afforded the same rights and opportunities – that when one of us experiences discrimination, it affects all of us – and that our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” said Obama in the proclamation, issued on Friday by the White House.
The president highlighted numerous advances in LGBT equality, including giving LGBT federal employees and contractors protection from discrimination; more states banning the use of conversion therapy for minors; moves to reduce bullying in classrooms; and updating the country’s HIV strategy to better address LGBT people.
Obama also highlighted efforts to extend family and spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples and his administration’s work to champion protections and support for LGBT people around the world.
“During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honour those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are,” said the president.
He added: “I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.”