Washington Monument


May 10, 2012

International Federation of Black Prides' Statement on President Obama's Support for Marriage Equality

President Barack ObamaAs he has done on so many other important and historical occasions during his political career and his first term, President Obama has again shown America the promise of possibility and equality by coming out in support of marriage equality.

To be clear the President has been with our communities from day one. Both his words and actions have cleared a path to equality, previously unseen by a sitting President. Today, as we face new and fervent challenges to our rights, we salute the President for his courageousness and his inspiring message of hope and possibility for all Americans. Among the top LGBT related achievements a generation of young LGBT Americans and older ones alike will now have the benefit of because of the Presidents leadership include:

  • June 17, 2009, he ordered the federal government to extend key benefits to same–sex partners of federal employees.
  • January 1, 2009, he banned discrimination in federal workplaces based on gender identity.
  • October 28, 2010, he signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.
  • March 23, 2010, he enacted the Affordable Care Act, reforming health care in America by lowering costs, expanding choice, and improving health care quality.
  • April 15, 2010, he ensured hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights for gay and lesbian patients.
  • June 22, 2010, he clarified the Family and Medical Leave Act to ensure family leave for LGBT employees.
  • February 23, 2010, he declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and announced the administration will no longer defend it in court.
  • December 22, 2011, he signed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
These victories for equality have been hard fought and earned by our communities. There have been critics within and outside our communities for varied reasons about the President's positions on LGBT related issues. It is our sincere hope that we can all stand proudly today as Americans knowing that our top leader stands proudly with us. We must not forget that leaving any member of our community behind is not an option and therefore we must continue to press our courts, state legislatures, and Congress - until all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and especially transgender Americans enjoyed the freedoms and protections guaranteed by our Constitution. As A. Philip Randolph said, "A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess." Today we salute the many LGBT individuals and organizations, straight allies, business and political leaders and of course President Barack Obama whose leadership has once again shown the world America's commitment to equality for all!

Earl Fowlkes, President/CEO
Dwayne Jenkins, Board of Directors Chairman
International Federation of Black Prides