President Barack Obama on Thursday
touted his administration’s record on gay rights during an annual
Gay Pride reception held at the White House.
The president was introduced by
9-year-old twins Zea and Luna, who have two moms. In their
introduction, they described writing a letter to Obama last year.
“We ask the president for his support
of gay marriage, because we have two moms and they are just as good
as other parents. They love us a lot,” the girls said.
Obama indeed reiterated his support
during his speech, saying that it was time for marriage equality.
“I agree that we're not going to have
to wait that long, because from Minnesota to Maryland, from the
United States Senate to the NBA, it's clear we're reaching a turning
point. We've become not just more accepting; we've become more
loving, as a country, and as a people.”
“I'll continue to support marriage
equality and states' attempts to legalize it, including in my home
state of Illinois. We're not giving up on that,” he later added.
Obama also ticked off a list of his
administration's LGBT rights accomplishments.
“We passed a hate crimes bill in
Matthew Shepard's name. We lifted the HIV entry ban, released the
first national HIV/AIDS strategy. We strengthened the Violence
Against Women Act to protect LGBT victims. We told hospitals that
accept Medicare and Medicaid that they have to treat LGBT patients
just like everybody else. Starting next year, the Affordable Care
Act will ban insurance companies from denying someone from coverage
just for being LGBT. We put in place new policies that treat
transgender Americans with dignity and respect. And because no one
should have to hide who they love to serve the country that they
love, we ended 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' once and for all.”
And the president reiterated his
support for a proposed bill which would outlaw workplace
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity – “I
want to sign that bill,” he said – but did not mention an
executive order which would prohibit such discrimination by federal
contractors. Gay rights activists have been calling on the president
for several years to sign such an order. (Video of Obama's speech is
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