Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Obama affirms LGBT support during Barnard commencement address

MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Washington Blade
Monday, May 14, 2012

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama reaffirmed his support of LGBT rights during Barnard College’s commencement address on Monday.

“No matter who you love or what God you love, you can still pursue your own happiness,” he told the nearly 600 graduates who gathered on Columbia University’s South Lawn after referencing the 1969 Stonewall riots. “I will be with you every step of the way.”

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson.

Obama joined Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson on stage less than a week after he announced his support for marriage equality during a White House interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts. Barnard also honored Care USA President Helene D. Gayle and chemistry professor Sally Chapman during the ceremony.

Retired New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye described Wolfson as a “hero for the charge of marriage equality” and a “champion for the cause of civil rights for all” before she presented Wolfson with Barnard’s Medal of Distinction.

“You have turned a once lonely march into a surging national movement,” she said to sustained applause. She further noted that the number of Americans who live in jurisdictions that allow nuptials for gays and lesbians more than doubled last June after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the state’s marriage equality bill into law. “The momentum in the direction of your dream Evan is positively undeniable. Today we hail your extraordinary influence and limitless commitment to every loving man and woman.”

Continue reading at the Washington Blade

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

Archives: , , , ,

Filed under: National Headlines

26 more reader comments:

  1. Hes got the ball rolling better keep it in motion

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:26pm
  2. Now young people gotta get out there and Vote!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:29pm
  3. President Obama is awesome, president since Clinton

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:30pm
  4. hes only doing it to secure more votes… guarentee if he gets reelected itll be illegal again REAL quick. obama is a HORRID president. george w bush was better.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:32pm
  5. you are kidding,Right?

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:36pm
  6. Yay!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:39pm
  7. Indeed….not.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:40pm
  8. <3

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:46pm
  9. Lindzi, you are a hot mess! What did Bush ever do for our rights?

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:56pm
  10. I wonder y he would not sign an executive order banning LGBT work-place discrimination?

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:57pm
  11. talia what did obama do for you’re rights? pretend like he cares before his upcoming election…

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:02pm
  12. your*

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:02pm
  13. LOVE IT!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:07pm
  14. All for the votes once he is elected he will change his mind just like last time

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:12pm
  15. For every lgbt vote he earns from this, he loses at least one conservative vote. And you’re assuming ever gay person or supporter is now going to vote for him strictly because of this. You’re argument about “doing it for votes” doesn’t even make mathmatical sense. He could just show support for them because, oh I don’t know, he supports them??

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:13pm
  16. Let me ask you this, what has ANY other President done for our rights MORE than Obama?

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:13pm
  17. Be that as it may, Obama can’t do anything abt marriage w the stroke of a pen. I would appreciate his lobbying for anti-discrimination laws. Not everyone is or wants to get married. We are not protected from job loss. Ik b/c I speak from experience.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:22pm
  18. Conservative won’t vote for him regarless of what he says about this issue. Even in they are poor and with no health care and the best for them is this presidents policies, they still don’t vote for him.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:25pm
  19. @Joshua, speak for yourself, I want to marry my girlfriend one day! And yes, Common sense tells you he can’t solve this with the stroke of a pen. However, to have the FIRST President ever to openly support Gay rights is monumental. Sorry if this means nothing to you, but it does to the millions of us supporting equal rights for all. He actually could end up losing votes over this, and he still voiced his support.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:47pm
  20. “Amanda Simpson, a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Transgender Equality, has been appointed Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce by President Obama” is one thing he has done

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:58pm
  21. The end of Don’t ask don’t tell for those who serve in the military is also due to Obama!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:01pm
  22. Even before he was elected he was the one who supported the LGBT community the most. Heck, not one republican accepted an invite to debate LGBT issues when they offered them the same chance as the Democrats had. I believe there was even one or two of the Democrats who were “to busy” to attend the televised event. I think those who do not support Obama should be ashamed of themselves after he has stuck his neck out for us.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:10pm
  23. I totally agree. LOL

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:35pm
  24. @Lindizi stfu yu sound real dum…wtf bush do for us GOOD?? Name sum thing!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:27pm
  25. History books look kindly on presidents who stand up against bigotry, no matter the political timing. That’s his ‘win’ with this, in my opinion. It also provides a contrast between him and Romney (politically they are similar), which will help them both. The bad side is possible loss of African-American community support and fueled GOP rage. If people feel it’s meant to gain him votes, I am curious which demographic of voter they think would vote for the GOP if Obama hadn’t said this. I don’t think that group exists.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:17pm
  26. Seriously, people.. If you don’t vote for this man then you really need to rethink your lives really carefully.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:53pm