For 25 years, OUT has celebrated queer culture. To mark our silver jubilee, we look back at some of the biggest, brightest moments of the past 9,131 days.
For someone who at first seemed coy on the subject, President Obama’s evolution on marriage equality was something to behold. He came to office reiterating that marriage was an institution reserved for a man and a woman, and continued to hold that line throughout most of his first term, even while advancing other important legislation, including the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
His public conversion on May 9, 2012, telegraphed just how far the country had moved. It took a few more years for the president to agree that marriage equality was a constitutional matter, rather than one left up to the states, but by November 2012, Americans were electing the nation’s first pro-gay marriage president. When he was sworn in on January 20, 2009, there were two states where same-sex marriage was legal.
Today it is a right nationwide. Many share credit for what has transpired, but there’s no question that without the active engagement of the 44th president of the United States, who made securing the rights of LGBT Americans a fundamental part of his legacy, we’d still be working to fulfill that dream. On this issue, among many others, he is truly a great American.