President Barack Obama reflected this week on the day nearly a year ago when The White House was illuminated in rainbow colors in celebration of marriage equality.
‘One of the most special moments of my presidency was that warm summer night last June when we lit up the White House out there,’ Obama said at the eighh and final LGBT Pride Reception of his presidency on Thursday (9 June).
The memorable gesture came on the day that a US Supreme Court ruling made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
‘It was a powerful symbol here at home, where more Americans finally felt accepted and whole, and that their country recognized the love that they felt. It was a beacon for people around the world who are still fighting for those rights,’ Obama said.
‘It was a reminder that when the change we seek comes, and when we move a little bit further on our journey toward equality and justice, we still have a responsibility to reach back and help pull up others who are striving to do the same.’
During his remarks, Obama reflected on the marriage breakthrough and other progress such as a federal hate crime law and the end of the ban on gays and lesbians in the military.
He stressed there is still more to be done.
‘We still have more work to do when gay and bisexual men make up two-thirds of new HIV cases in our country,’ he said.
‘We have to work hard to make sure that jobs are not being denied, people aren’t being fired because of their sexual orientation. We still have work to do when transgender persons are attacked, even killed for just being who they are. We’ve got work to do when LGBT people around the world still face incredible isolation and poverty and persecution and violence, and even death.
‘We have work to make sure that every single child, no matter who they are or where they come from or what they look like or how they live, feels welcomed and valued and loved.’