Obama delivers LGBT-inclusive commencement address at all-male college

Carolyn Kaster, AP

Carolyn Kaster, AP

ATLANTA — President Barack Obama on Sunday delivered an LGBT-inclusive commencement address at Morehouse College, a private, all-male, liberal arts, historically black college located in Atlanta.

Carolyn Kaster, AP

Obama challenged graduates to “transform the way we think about manhood,” and encouraged them to take responsibility for their families and their communities.

Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. Be the best husband to your wife, or your boyfriend, or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important. […]

As Morehouse man, many of you know what it’s like to be an outsider; know what it’s like to be marginalized; know what it’s like to feel the sting of discrimination. And that’s an experience that a lot of Americans share. Hispanic Americans know that feeling when somebody asks them where they come from or tell them to go back.

Gay and lesbian Americans feel it when a stranger passes judgment on their parenting skills or the love that they share. Muslim Americans feel it when they’re stared at with suspicion because of their faith. Any woman who knows the injustice of earning less pay for doing the same work — she knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in.

So your experiences give you special insight that today’s leaders need. If you tap into that experience, it should endow you with empathy… It should give you the ability to connect. It should give you a sense of compassion and what it means to overcome barriers.”

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