News (USA)

Obama: Religious freedom no excuse to deny rights to others

Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the legal case that led the Supreme Court in June to rule narrowly in favor of gay marriage, introduced Obama.

The president began by recalling for his supporters that “seven years ago, we came together not just to elect a president, but to reaffirm our faith in that most American of ideals: the notion that people, no matter where they come from … or who they love can change this country.”

He noted that everyone in the U.S., regardless of sexual orientation, is protected by a federal hate crimes law he signed in his first year as president, and that federal contractors are barred from terminating employees for being gay.

Obama got some of his biggest cheers and loudest applause when he said “we live in an America where ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is something that ‘don’t exist.'” Obama lifted the Pentagon policy that barred gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

“And tonight, thanks to the unbending sense of justice passed down through generations of citizens who never gave up hope that we could bring this country closer to our founding ideals … we now live in America where our marriages are equal as well,” he said.

© 2015, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

A gay dad invites Pope Francis to dinner: Meet us before you judge us

Previous article

Report: Transgender woman sues Louisville nursing college

Next article