Out magazine’s Out 100 for 2015 included some controversial choices—Caitlyn Jenner, Raven-Symoné, Roland Emmerich—but perhaps the most surprising person on the list is on the cover: President Barack Obama.
While Newsweek once hailed Obama as America’s “first gay president,” the President is actually named “Ally of the Year,” marking the first time a sitting president has sat for a cover shoot and interview for an LGBT magazine.
In the accompanying article, Out spoke with Obama about marriage equality, Kim Davis, and how his kids’ generation is leading the way.
“To Malia and Sasha and their friends, discrimination in any form against anyone doesn’t make sense,” the Commander in Chief revealed. “It doesn’t dawn on them that friends who are gay or friends’ parents who are same-sex couples should be treated differently than anyone else. That’s powerful.”
Obama says one of the main reasons he got involved in politics was to fulfill the promise that all Americans are created equal.
“No one should be excluded from the American dream just because of who they are. That’s why, in the Senate, I supported repealing DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act],” he says. “It’s why, when I ran for president the first time, I publicly asked for the support of the LGBT community, and promised that we could bring about real change for LGBT Americans.”
In his second term, Obama did just that—endorsing same-sex marriage, pushing for federal protections for LGBT people, and adding the first openly trans person to his administration.
“There had been a remarkable attitude shift—in hearts and minds—across America. The ruling reflected that. It reflected our values as a nation founded on the principle that we are all created equal. And, by the way, it was decades of our brothers and sisters fighting for recognition and equality—and too frequently risking their lives or facing rejection from family, friends, and co-workers—that got us to that moment. So
The President says he wasn’t surprised when the Supreme Court endorsed the freedom to marry, but “I was proud and happy that it came down the way it did—and I was honored to stand in the Rose Garden and reiterate for every American that we are strongest, that we are most free, when all of us are treated equally. I was proud to say that love is love.”
Someone who doesn’t get that message is Kim Davis, of whom Obama feels overstepped her bounds.
“I am a man of faith and believe deeply in religious freedom, but at the end of the day, nobody is above the rule of law—especially someone who voluntarily takes an oath to uphold that law.”
We’d vote for you a dozen more times if we could, Mr. Obama.
photo: Ryan Pfluger