Washington– A new report from the Human Rights Campaign shows that President Obama’s unprecedented usage of words including “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual” and “transgender” in his public statements is contributing immensely to the political mainstreaming of LGBT people and marriage equality within American society. The report, which also examines the public statements of former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, found that President Obama has used the word “gay” more than any of his predecessors – 272 times. The report shows that during President Obama’s time in office, support for marriage equality has exploded from 40 percent in 2008 to 53 percent in 2013.
“Words matter an enormous amount, and when President Obama uses his platform to declare that LGBT people are just as American as anyone else, it has a huge and historic effect. President Obama has helped the American people get to know LGBT people on a personal level, and evidence suggests that when people know us, they don’t want to discriminate against us,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “President Obama has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of LGBT people, and the power of his rhetoric has been an essential part of that legacy.”
Key findings from the report include:
“When an elected official uses his or her platform to send a message of dignity and respect, Americans respond,” said Griffin. “We hope that the growing momentum for equality will ensure future presidents – regardless of their party affiliation – continue this trend.”
The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/ObamaReport.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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