President Obama dedicated his weekly address to the victims of the Orlando massacre and the LGBT community as a whole this weekend, and included a Father’s Day message on the importance of teaching children about love and equality.
The president first discussed his visit to Orlando earlier this week, sharing his experience of talking to the families of the victims.
“One thing I told them is that they’re not alone,” he said. “The American people, and people all over the world, are standing with them – and we always will.”
He also took the opportunity to stress the importance of gun control in the wake of the horrific attack at Pulse last weekend.
“It’s unconscionable that we allow easy access to weapons of war in these places – and then, even after we see parents grieve for their children, the fact that we as a country do nothing to prevent the next heartbreak makes no sense,” said the president.
“I’ve also thought a lot about dads and moms around the country who’ve had to explain to their children what happened in Orlando,” he continued. “Time and again, we’ve observed moments of silence for victims of terror and gun violence. Too often, those moments have been followed by months of silence. By inaction that is simply inexcusable.”
President Obama then turned his focus towards the importance of teaching our children to love and accept one another.
“We need our kids to hear from us why tolerance and equality matter – about the times their absence has scarred our history and how greater understanding will better the future they will inherit,” he urged. “We need our kids to hear our words – and also see us live our own lives with love.”
The president then closed out his Father’s Day address with a reminder to celebrate our differences and spread unconditional love.
“As parents,” he said, “we should remember there’s one responsibility that’s always in our power to fulfill: our obligation to give our children unconditional love and support; to show them the difference between right and wrong; to teach them to love, not to hate; and to appreciate our differences not as something to fear, but as a great gift to cherish.”
You can watch his entire address below.