This past week President Obama delivered a commencement speech for the prestigious Morehouse graduates and made sure to have a very touching message of inclusion the echoed throughout the speech which included LGBT members, Here’s more:
President Barack Obama made sure that his speech during the spring 2013 commencement ceremony at Georgia’s Morehouse College was inclusive.
The Atlanta-based historically black private college is exclusively for men, but Obama spontaneously referenced gay and lesbian Americans, as The Advocate notes.
Pointing to a Morehouse student who struggled through college while supporting his family, the president advised students to be the best that they can be in their romantic relationships, no matter what their sexuality.
“Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man,” he said. “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 Men, 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.”
A little side bar I’ve noticed over the past few years we have seen our president evolve on his position on LGBT rights. What many refer to as flip-flopping and riding the fence, President Obama has was very meticulous yet vague at the same time when he referred to the rights of this community which led many of his LGBT supporters to become frustrated, even hurt at how we as a community were being left out of the change he made as his slogan throughout both his campaign. Nut about a year ago, President Obama for the first time seemed to be standing up for us at long last.
When he revealed through a televised interview that we, the LGBT population deserved the same rights as everyone many were elated at the prospect of having a sitting president openly supporting marriage equality and LGBT rights. What followed afterward was an increasing vigor from president. But he wasn’t doing much in the way of policy as he was saying to us the people and what some believed jr once again began to enact upon the same flippant behavior as we were seeing promises to stand firmly for ENDA (Employee Non Discrimination Act) fell by the waist side and he for a while stated that marriage equality was a state issue.
But after the election and President Obama’s second consecutive win he seemed to become more able to speak freely about the rights of LGBT citizens of this country. And took more steps in fulfilling the promises he made us over five years ago when his campaign first began, real change. It warms my heart to see a sitting president speak of inclusion of such a magnitude when only a few years ago, many, including myself questioned if we would ever see a sitting president reach out to us, and include as as citizenship of this country.
I realize that to some (possibly many) I sound like an apologist but that’s not true. I feel our president has done more in recognizing us than any other setting president in history. He has made missteps and flat out mistakes as far as adequately addressing and implementing the change he told us so much about for the LGBT community. But I am grateful of the progress that he has made, I only hope that his evolution continues and we see him fulfill the words of change he made us believe in.