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President Barack Obama trumpets LGBT progress in Pride Month Proclamation

President Barack Obama trumpets LGBT progress in Pride Month Proclamation

Barack Obama, the first sitting US president to express support for gay marriage, trumpeted the recent progress Americans have made towards equality in an LGBT Pride Month Proclamation released Friday (31 May).

‘In the past year, for the first time, voters in multiple States affirmed marriage equality for same-sex couples,’ Obama stated.

But his statement was released just hours before the House of Representatives in his home state of Illinois failed to vote on a marriage equality bill before adjourning for the summer.

In his proclamation, Obama said the US celebrates pride ‘at a moment of great hope and progress, recognizing that more needs to be done.’

He added: ‘Support for LGBT equality is growing, led by a generation which understands that, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."’

Obama reaffirmed his support for the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act and his support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would make it illegal for employers to discriminate based on sexuality or gender identity.

Obama has said he wants to see ENDA pass through the legislative process just as the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell did during his first term. But he faces criticism from some for not signing ENDA into law by executive order.

He had high praise for the LGBT activists who have been working for change on a federal and state-by-state level.

‘We have a long way to go, but if we continue on this path together, I am confident too that one day soon, from coast to coast, all of our young people will look to the future with the same sense of promise and possibility,’ he stated. ‘I am confident because I have seen the talent, passion, and commitment of LGBT advocates and their allies, and I know that when voices are joined in common purpose, they cannot be stopped.’

Go to WhiteHouse.gov to read the full proclamation.