On the five-year anniversary of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, President Obama has issued a heartfelt statement on the progress his administration promulgated for LGBTQ rights, in both military and civilian life.
“I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together,” he writes. “But our work is not finished.”
“From the boardroom to the locker room, LGBT Americans still face prejudice in their daily lives.”
Related: Tipping Points: 17 Amazing Events That Got Us Closer To Equality
Whenever someone says it doesn’t matter who resides in the White House — Democrat or Republican — just try and imagine the sort of holiday address we’d get from President Trump. “America best. Rest of world losers.”
Read Obama’s full statement below:
Five years ago today, I signed a bipartisan bill repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ – extending our country’s promise of equality to those who protect it every day. Today, Americans can serve the country they love no matter who they love, and openly gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women in uniform make our military stronger and America safer.
Since the repeal of DADT, I’ve received hundreds of letters from service members who can now serve their country openly. They come from every corner of America and from military bases around the world. And their stories are a powerful reminder of how much has changed over the past five years. Because of all we’ve accomplished together, a grieving widow can now receive her wife’s flag at her funeral. A spouse can now be part of his husband’s promotion ceremony. One person told me he had been torn between his desire to serve his country and his longing to live life openly as a gay man. He no longer is forced to make that choice. And just last summer, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy.
But repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell wasn’t just about living up to our ideals. As Commander in Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping Americans safe. And when it comes to defending our country, we need to draw on the talents of every American – regardless of sexual orientation.
That’s the progress we celebrate today. And in the last five years, we’ve kept fighting to expand the promise of equality to LGBT Americans. We strengthened the Violence Against Women Act to protect LGBT victims. We prohibited federal contractors from firing employees simply because of the person they love, or the gender they identify with. We called for an end to the use of “conversion therapy” against minors. And this year, thanks to decades of dedicated, tireless advocacy, marriage equality became a reality in all 50 states.
I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together. But our work is not finished. From the boardroom to the locker room, LGBT Americans still face prejudice in their daily lives. In far too many states, people still live in fear of being fired from their jobs just because they’re gay. Young people struggling with their gender identities are bullied and beaten and told they don’t belong. That kind of prejudice has no place in our country, and as Americans we need to let every one of them know that they are not alone. These are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters. We stand with you, and we’re here to help you grow up strong and confident and proud of who you are.
This anniversary reminds us that in America, we have the power to change – to make sure more of our loved ones and friends and neighbors share in our country’s promise. Together, we’ve won some big victories. And I’m going to spend every minute I have left as president working with you to move our country even closer to our founding ideals.
Happy holidays, and may God bless all who wear the uniform and keep us safe.
Thank you President Obama for supporting us and advancing our equal rights. We stand united as American citizens in support of your efforts.
I don’t care what anyone says about Obama he’s a wonderful president and he is the only president who has ever genuinely and sincerely cared about our rights, liberties, and dignities as Americans.
I will miss him when he leaves the Oval Office and I truly fear who will wind up replacing him.
I only hope it’s none of the republican candidates they will only divide this country and cause to go backwards and regress instead of go forward and progress.
Thank you president Obama prayers for you
He is a good President who has made some mistakes but has far many more positives of his administration. I respect this President who is a million miles better than anything republicans can offer. His words towards our community are genuine and honest. Republicans are stuck in a different century and gay republicans are backstabbers who value money over equality and democracy.
Why start out with a compliment and then turn it into a hate filled tirade? You sound just like them.
@Giandorko86: And you sound like a useless unoriginal lame troll who needs to vanish. Stop wasting my time. There is no hate in my post. Gay Republicans sell out our community all the time.
No hate in your post? U just threatened me with death. I can feel the love.
@Giandorko86: Vanish = Leave (don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out).
Hysterical little thing you are.
I hope the next step is complete Job, housing, and tax protection for the LGBT community in the US.
How could there be any gay Republicans in this day and age, especially when looking at current circus??
@Hussain-TheCanadian: Look at ALISTAIR! That’s how…
@Hussain-TheCanadian: How could anyone, except a rabid religious nut and a billionaire, be a republican?
The speech brought a tear to my eye, I was hooked, line and sinker right to the “bitter end” then the BOMB went off !
That “God bless” part, the needless mention of “the fictional, malevolent sky pixy” the one used to terrorize our community for over 2000 years with savage bigotry.
Happy winter solstice. Best wishes for our future, one with kindness and truth.
@youarekiddingme: Yeah I don’t know what deal is with Alistair; there are days I wonder if he’s gay even.
@Giancarlo85: Not just those Gian; there is a slice of people in our community who aren’t religiously dogmatic and middle class, they hate the Democrats for whatever reason, and prefer to be on the republican side – I just don’t understand why; they could of been independent, but they keep on being republican – I don’t understand it.
Do they really think the Republicans represent small government?
I will forever be grateful for Obama who allowed my husband to serve openly and proudly in the USAF and allow me to be at his side. <3
Obama got a lot done despite the GOP obstructing every thing he tried to do. He did it with style, making the Republicans look petty and stupid. I’m proud of him for maintaining decorum under such heinous adversity. Now if we can get around gerrymandering, voter suppression, and cheating done by a desperately obsolete party of entitled, wealthy, rich, white males, and win back the House and Senate, we’ll be able to get some fair justices on the bench of the Supreme Court. Obama did as well as any guy could do given the “do-Nothing” colleagues with when he had to work. They just couldn’t let a black, mixed race first time President be a total rock-star success. The GOP knew that going in the first week. I’ll never forgive the Republicans for how they put their own political relevance ahead of the citizens. SCOTUS is reprehensible.
@Hussain-TheCanadian: I don’t get how anyone at all in the middle class could support Republicans. They are terrible for the checkbook. If we want to look at this in just dollars and cents… Why would anyone vote republican? The last four republican Presidencies ended up in major recessions.
You like your job? You want to be successful and move up? Don’t ever vote republican. Republicans are bad for the economy, raise taxes on the middle class and lie constantly to divert from real issues (like crumbling infrastructure which they refuse to fix in Congress).
More of a man and a gentleman than ALL of those republican candidates who want to treat us like second class citizens, and hose who want to punish and kill us.
@Hussain-TheCanadian: It’s more like Stockholm Syndrome. They identify with LGBTIQ people’s oppressors than with LGBTIQ people. Also, they believe in other conservative beliefs as well, often in ways that emphasize individualism and harm (gendered, minority, poor, etc.) communities. That’s how you get gay Republicans, especially today, since that party’s major figures are, almost to a person, no longer moderate in any appreciable way.
Obama has been excellent on LGBTIQ issues, particularly in his second term. He is far and away the most pro-gay president we have ever had, and for that, I’m thankful. I also go out on a limb and say that he is one of the most transformative presidents in my lifetime, and he’s managed to do it with almost constant opposition (2010-2016), unlike the other transformative presidents, like Ronald Reagan, for example, who had Democratic and Republican Congresses that worked collaboratively.
Left to his own devices he would still be quacking about marriage is between a man and a woman. The DNC had to pull his head out of his ass and tell him to support LGBTQ equality. That’s the only way this got done. He was told. His name comes right ahead of Jimmy Carter’s on the list.
I have to go finish detailing the bathroom, wing nut. Obama will be remembered for his support. Without it, many would have joined in the pack mentality and not supported us in a very crucial time in our efforts. Good or bad, the president takes the fall or gets the credit for whatever happens on his or her watch. Now, go back to your party, family, and friends and quit being so negative. Obama was brilliant with his timing. The man had great sense of timing. Now my queerty break is over. I can’t believe I spent my five-minute-spine-rest refuting your nonsense. The president was instrumental in helping us win equality, starting with the fair justices he bagged for the Supreme Court. 10 years from now all these cheesy details will be nothing but a backdrop to the whole enchilada he made happen. Damn, mexican food… I’d rather be having this instead of the poor lamb’s appendage my spouse decided on. Some three-legged lamb is applying for handicapped parking plaques as we speak. She gets squirrelly when I broach this subject. Merry, happy and all that o.codone…January 2nd is only 7 days away. Breath.
OBAMA DID US PROUD…I HOPE NONE OF OUR RIGHT CAN BE TAKEN BACK BY THE NEXT POWERS THAT BE!
@o.codone: Left to his own devices? Yet you being the stupid mindless wingnut you are… will continue supporting republicans. Obama was pro-same sex marriage before the DNC. The RNC however is rabidly anti-gay and pushes policies that would collapse this country’s economy. Not a word from you on that one.
Continue spewing your bullshit. You really don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.
Comments are closed.