Over the weekend, President Barack Obama vowed to “keep fighting, for however long it takes, until we are all able to live free and equal in dignity and rights,” in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).
The President has been increasingly promoting LGBT rights throughout his time in the White House, with the first major stamp of approval occurring in the spring of 2012, when he officially endorsed gay marriage in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.
Last year, Obama signed an executive order that bans workplace discrimination against transgender employees and later became the first sitting President to use the word “transgender” in a State of the Union address in January 2015, ABC News reported.
However, Obama said he understood that “there is so much more to do” throughout the nation and the world to protect all members of the LGBT community from discrimination.
“This day and every day, the United States stands in solidarity with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and all those around the world who work to advance the unassailable principle that LGBT rights are human rights,” Susan Rice, the U.S. National Security Adviser, said in a statement.
Rice also discussed recent comments from Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who threatened to kill any member of the LGBT community in his nation during a recent speech, NBC News reported. In response, Rice said Jammeh’s comments “underscore why we must continue to seek a world in which no one lives in fear of violence or persecution because of who they are or whom they love.”
IDAHOT was celebrated on May 17 and comes about a month before the U.S. Supreme Court is to submit a ruling on federal laws defining same-sex marriage.
Photo Credit: The Washington Post, Guillaume Paumier/Flickr