HRC Blog

President Obama Named Time’s Person of the Year

TIME magazine; TIME Person of the Year; President Barack ObamaPost submitted by Dan Rafter, former HRC Associate Director of Communications

President Barack Obama is Time’s Person of the Year 2012, with the magazine citing Obama’s first-term record and achievements as one of the reasons the President played such an influential role in shaping 2012.

The year was a landmark one for LGBT equality, and President Obama played a large and historic role in the progress we’ve seen – in May, he became the first sitting president ever to endorse full marriage equality for same-sex couples. And just last month, voters re-elected Obama over anti-equality GOP candidate Mitt Romney – sending a clear message that the days when LGBT equality could be used as a divisive wedge issue were long gone.

In the Time Magazine interview with President Obama, both marriage equality and the historic repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are cited:

The Obama effect was not ephemeral anymore, no longer reducible to what had once been mocked as “that hopey-changey stuff.” It could be measured — in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured or reregulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system reimagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners. It could be seen in the new faces who waited hours to vote and in the new ways campaigns are run. America debated and decided this year: history would not record Obama’s presidency as a fluke.

Time managing editor Richard Stengel says President Obama’s re-election is evidence that the values Obama embraces are reflective of American culture:


There has been much talk of the coalition of the ascendant — young people, minorities, Hispanics, college-educated women — and in winning re-election, Obama showed that these fast-growing groups are not only the future but also the present. If his win in 2008 was extraordinary, then 2012 is confirmation that demographic change is here to stay.”

Obama was previously the Time Person of the Year in 2008, when he was president-elect. Learn more about all of the work President Obama has done to advance equality for the LGBT community.  

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