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President Obama’s declared support for the right of same-sex couples to marry caused a seismic shift in American politics. Never again will the country be the same.
It has been decades since The Advocate, the world’s leading gay news source, has made a presidential endorsement. The president’s statement on May 9 of this year, unequivocally in favor of marriage equality, along with his record on LGBT rights, has distinguished Barack Obama for the ages and has made it clear that he is a transformational leader and our best choice for president.
“Never has the substantial progress in equal rights and treatment of LGBT people been more at risk than in this presidential contest,” writes Advocate editor in chief Matthew Breen. “This election presents a choice between starkly opposing futures. Barack Obama is a leader of undeniable accomplishment, vision, and integrity on LGBT rights. His opponent, Mitt Romney, betrays equality on numerous issues and aligns himself with a faction of the Republican Party that does not include equality among its declared ideals.”
“Obama may be the most prominent man on the planet ever, given the pervasiveness of modern media and his anomalous and historic nature as the first black American president; he is surely the single most recognizable head of state on the globe. By virtue of his unique position, his endorsement of marriage equality is not merely rhetoric. His words constitute action. On the very face of it, his statement is enormous, and has the power to move millions in a way that a statement from no other person could have.”
Also significant are the actions the President’s administration has taken in support of LGBT equality. The president signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Prevention Act and lifted the ban on HIV-positive green card applicants and visitors to the United States. He signed the first federal pro-LGBT law in U.S. history with the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He has appointed more LGBTs to leadership positions than any other president in history, launched a national resource center for LGBT elders, ensured insurance exchanges can not deny coverage to someone LGBT under the Affordable Care Act, and directed hospitals receiving federal funds to allow partner visitation rights, among many other achievements.
Obama can easily be contrasted with his opponent who, despite making claims that he would be “better than Ted Kennedy” on gay rights when running for U.S. Senate in 1994, has changed his position on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, declared support for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and is opposed to marriage equality.
“The GOP abandoned core values of limited government and federalism in exchange for demonizing rhetoric and repressive legislation over who can marry, what kind of sex to have, and whether women are equal to men. No candidate beholden to this party can be an LGBT champion. While there are Republicans demonstrating independence, and who defy the GOP’s positions on these issues in pursuit of the greater good, Romney is not among them.”
“Obama has demonstrated through both word and deed that he is capable of understanding and tackling the issues, with foresight and intellect, that affect a minority population, particularly the last group of people it’s still legally permissible to deny rights to in the United States.”
Read The Advocate’s full President Barack Obama endorsement here.