No president in history has done more for LGBTQ rights than Barack Obama.
Obama helped lift the ban on LGBTQ people serving openly in the military, granted federal contractors protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and put a historic number of LGBTQ people in high-ranking positions. And on his watch, marriage equality became the law of the land.
While the country’s highest court has recognized the right to marriage, there is still some cause for concern. President-elect Donald Trump says he doesn’t support marriage equality, but the matter is “settled” at this point and he is “fine” with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
During his eighth and final pride reception in June, Obama reflected on the progress his administration has made. He said the country “cannot be complacent” and will “go backwards if we don’t work hard.” He reflected on the June 2015 night after the Supreme Court decision, when the White House was lit with rainbow pride lights.
“It was a beacon for people around the world who are still fighting for those rights,” he said. “It was a reminder that when the change we seek comes, and when we move a little bit further on our journey toward equality and justice, we still have a responsibility to reach back and help pull up others who are striving to do the same.”