The President of the United States yesterday issued a proclamation in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Pride month.
Barack Obama called on “Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity” and “turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.”
President Obama has been supportive of gay rights, but little progress has been made since he came to office in January. In his official proclamation he outlined what had been achieved so far.
“My administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives,” he wrote.
“At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalise homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans.
“These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security.
“We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.”
The President said that Pride is commemoration of the “events of June 1969.”
“Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born.”
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was the President’s main rival for the Democratic nomination last year, also issued a statement in support of Pride Month.
“At the State Department and throughout the administration, we are grateful for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in Washington and around the world,” she said.
“They and their families make many sacrifices to serve our nation. Their contributions are vital to our efforts to establish stability, prosperity and peace worldwide.
“Human rights are at the heart of those efforts. Gays and lesbians in many parts of the world live under constant threat of arrest, violence, even torture. The persecution of gays and lesbians is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and it must end. As Secretary of State, I will advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. “
Pride Month is marked by hundreds of events and parades across the United States.