Barack Obama Becomes First U.S. President to Pose for LGBT Magazine Cover
The president covers the new issue of 'Out' as the magazine's "ally of the year."
President Barack Obama covers Out magazine's new "Out100 2015" issue, becoming the first sitting president to be photographed for the cover of an LGBT publication.
The magazine's editors call it a "historic moment in itself" and a statement about how much the Obama administration has done for LGBT rights. In an article introducing the cover, the editors wrote, "The 44th president of the United States is our Ally of the Year — a president who came to office on a wave of euphoria, appeared to lose momentum halfway through and has since rallied, helping us secure marriage equality, among other landmark initiatives that are transforming our place in America."
Obama sat down with the publication's editor-in-chief, Aaron Hicklin, for an interview. Hicklin wrote that Obama and his administration have "ushered extraordinary change into the lives of LGBT Americans." He said his "evolution on marriage equality has been something to behold."
Read highlights from Obama's interview below.
On when he realized LGBT equality would be a key focus of his administration:
"This really goes back to when I was a kid because my mom instilled in me the strong belief that every person is of equal worth. At the same time, growing up as a black guy with a funny name, I was often reminded of exactly what it felt like to be on the outside. One of the reasons I got involved in politics was to help deliver on our promise that we’re all created equal and that no one should be excluded from the American dream just because of who they are."
On the generational difference in people's attitudes toward homosexuality:
"To Malia and Sasha and their friends, discrimination in any form against anyone doesn’t make sense. 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. My sense is that a lot of parents across the country aren’t going to want to sit around the dinner table and try to justify to their kids why a gay teacher or a transgender best friend isn’t quite as equal as someone else."
On the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage:
"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 I wasn’t surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision, but, like millions of Americans, I was proud and happy that it came down the way it did."
On Kim Davis and religious freedom:
"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. That’s something we’ve got to respect."