President Barack Obama Friday (May 29) issued his annual LGBT Pride Proclamation declaring June as LGBT Pride Month in advance of the numerous celebrations that will mark the occasion in cities across the country.
The president has issued the proclamation annually since taking office in 2009.
This year, Obama noted that the United States has always “expanded civil rights and enshrined equal protections into our Constitution.”
That may prove to be the case in June when the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in a consolidated same-sex marriage case that could see such couples be allowed to wed in all 50 states. Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
“Through struggle and setback, we see a common trajectory toward a more free and just society,” the proclamation states. “But we are also reminded that we are not truly equal until every person is afforded the same rights and opportunities – that when one of us experiences discrimination, it affects all of us – and that our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”
Obama also mentioned his executive order earlier this year on workplace protections for LGBT federal employees went into effect.
“The federal government is now leading by example, ensuring that our employees and contractors are judged by the quality of their work, not by who they love,” the president stated. “And I will keep calling on the Congress to pass legislation so that all Americans are covered by these protections, no matter where they work.”
“In communities throughout the country, barriers that limit the potential of LGBT Americans have been torn down, but too many individuals continue to encounter discrimination and unfair treatment,” the proclamation states. “My administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors because the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that it can cause substantial harm. We understand the unique challenges faced by sexual and gender minorities – especially transgender and gender non-conforming individuals – and are taking steps to address them. And we recognize that families come in many shapes and sizes. Whether biological, foster, or adoptive, family acceptance is an important protective factor against suicide and harm for LGBTQ youth, and mental health experts have created resources to support family communication and involvement.”
The president also said in the document that, “All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are,” the president stated.
The president concluded by calling upon citizens “to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.”