Appearing Friday on Ellen DeGeneres'
daytime talk show, President Barack Obama thanked DeGeneres for
helping change hearts and minds on gay rights.
“I can't thank you enough for what
you have done for the gay community,” DeGeneres told the president.
“So, thank you.”
“It's one of the things I'm proudest
of,” Obama responded. “Because my whole political career has
been based on the idea that we constantly want to include people and
not exclude them.”
“But … changing hearts and minds, I
don't think anyone has been more influential than you on that.
“You being willing to claim who you
were, then suddenly empowers other people. And then suddenly it's
your brother; it's your uncle; it's you best friend; it's your
co-worker. And then attitudes shift and the laws followed, but it
started with folks like you. I'm so proud of you,” Obama added.
Always the comedian, DeGeneres joked
that she wasn't really gay: “I just thought it would work and had
to stick with it because people responded.”