Obama prepares final address, cites LGBT progress
Before his successor, Donald Trump, is sworn in this month, outgoing US President Barack Obama is preparing for his final address to the country, dropping hints of his administration’s accomplishments like LGBT progress in achieving equality.
Trump, who won in last November’s elections, is scheduled to be sworn in on January 20. However, the Republican candidate currently has a number of anti-LGBT proponents in his incoming administration slate.
This– plus Trump’s other views– has groups and organizations worried such that they’re planning to march a day after Trump’s inauguration in protest.
LGBT progress on Obama’s mind
In a note published on the White House website, Obama said: “On Tuesday, January 10, I’ll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can’t be there in person.”
“I’m just beginning to write my remarks. But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here,” he said.
Likewise, on Twitter, he mentioned: “As we look ahead to the future, I wanted to take a moment to look back on the remarkable progress that you made possible these past 8 years.”
“From realizing marriage equality to removing barriers to opportunity, we’ve made history in our work to reaffirm that all are created equal,” he pointed out.
LGBT progress in the past years
Though Obama had to battle with Congress every step of the way, he managed to score a number of pro-LGBT accomplishments under his administration’s belt.
These range from a federal hate crime law to legal briefs that helped bring about equal marriage at the Supreme Court. He also overturned the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in the military, helped block the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), and appointed an LGBT rights envoy.
Under his administration, healthcare protections for LGBT people was enshrined in Obamacare. Likewise, the Stonewall Inn was declared a national monument and LGBT icon and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was awarded the Congressional Medal of Freedom.
In his online letter, the outgoing president concluded: “Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding—our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.”
“So I hope you’ll join me one last time. Because, for me, it’s always been about you,” he wrote.