GayTimes magazine reports:
During his eight years in the White House, Obama oversaw the introduction of nationwide marriage equality, and also signed into law hate crime protection legislations and helped repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Now, before Republican president-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated on Friday, Obama’s used his last ever press conference as President of the United States to look back on his legacy on LGBT+ rights.
When asked about his feelings on the progress of equality, in both society and law, he said: “I could not be prouder of the transformation that’s taken place in our society just in the last decade.
“And, I’ve said before, I think we made some useful contributions to it, but the primary heroes in this stage of our growth as a democracy and a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said, ‘this is who I am and I’m proud of it’.
“That opened people’s minds, and opened their hearts, and eventually laws caught up. But I don’t think any of that would’ve happened without the activism, in some cases loud and noisy, but in some cases just quiet and very personal.
“I think what we did as an administration was to help society to move in a better direction, but to do so in a way that didn’t create an enormous backlash and was systematic and respectful of the fact that in some cases these issues were controversial.”
Many in the LGBT+ community have expressed concern that incoming president Donald Trump will erase progress that’s been made towards equality, as he infamously said he would “strongly consider” repealing same-sex marriage laws.
Obama disregarded those worries, however, as he assured: “I don’t think it’s something that will be reversible, because American society has changed, the attitudes of young people in particular have changed.
“That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some fights that are important, legal issues, issues surrounding transgender persons, there’s still going to be some battles that need to take place.