Happy Birthday, President Obama: 10 Reasons Barack Rocks!

TNT Christmas In Washington 2013

It’s hard to believe, but President Obama turns 53 today. We’re sure he’s busy celebrating with Michelle, Sasha and Malia, but we wanted to take a moment to wish the Commander in Chief a happy birthday.

Below, we sound off on 10 reasons why President Obama is an ally to the LGBT community.


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10. He signed an executive order banning workplace discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Our government – government of the people, by the people and for the people – will become just a little bit fairer.”


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9. Obama loved The Normal Heart.

The prez made a surprise call to Ryan Murphy to share how much he loved the HBO production of the seminal play about the beginning of the AIDS crisis. Obama called the film “incredibly moving” and asked how it came together.


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8. His campaign store added LGBT swag

 In the sunup to the 2012 election, the Obama store added tee shirts, bumper stickers and even onesies aimed at queer voters.


Obama Honors Sixteen With Congressional Medal Of Freedom

7. He sent out athletes Billie Jean King, Brian Boitano and Kaitlin Cahow to the Olympic Games in Sochi.

The President also met with LGBT activists when he was in Russia.


6. The Obama Administration held a Pride celebration at the White House every year he’s been in office.


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5. He pushed Congress to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

“Your country needs you and your country wants you.”


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4. He and Michelle have vocally supported out pro athletes Michael Sam and Jason Collins

Obama told Collins he was impressed by his courage. Michelle tweeted, “So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back!”


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3. Obama committed an additional $100 million to combat HIV/AIDS

In commemoration of World AIDS Day 2013, the President declared “an AIDS-free generation is within our reach.”


2. The White House launched a campaign to raise awareness of the Affordable Care Act in the LGBT community.

And partnered on this adorable PSA to get the word out.


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1. He finally “evolved” on marriage equality.

“I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient,” the president said. “I was sensitive to the fact that — for a lot of people — that the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery