President Barack Obama will be remembered for a host of reasons when he steps down from office at the beginning of — collaring Osama bin Laden, passing the Affordable Care Act — but a prominent reason is likely to be his "evolving" stance on gay marriage. Publicly, he's said that his stance on the matter grew into one of support. Privately, that doesn't quite add up. See also: 10 Behind-the-Scenes Obama Photos. In , Obama filled out a questionnaire saying he supported same-sex marriage. But when he ran for Congress four years later, he had shifted to "undecided," according to the Times.
Obama Leaves A Monumental Legacy On LGBTQ Rights
Kenyan Leaders Respond to Obama's Support for LGBT Rights
Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya and surveys show nine in 10 people find them unacceptable. Obama personalised the issue by comparing homophobia to racial discrimination that he had encountered in the United States. Never before has such a powerful foreign leader challenged Africans so directly on their own soil. And bad things happen. As an African-American in the United States, I am painfully aware of the history of what happens when people are treated differently, under the law, and there were all sorts of rationalisations that were provided by the power structure for decades in the United States for segregation and Jim Crow and slavery, and they were wrong.
'Gay rights are human rights': Obama, Clinton crack down on LBGT discrimination
The executive order has two parts: It makes it illegal to fire or harass employees of federal contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it explicitly bans discrimination against transgender employees of the federal government. The part targeting federal contractors affects 24, companies employing roughly 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation's workforce. The provision affecting federal employees takes effect immediately, while employees of federal contractors will have their new protections in place by early next year, according to senior administration officials. To the relief of the LGBT community, Obama did not include a sweeping religious exemption in the executive order -- something the community feared could happen in the wake of last month's Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. Instead, Obama simply added the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing executive order that protects employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
The Obama administration bluntly warned the world against gay and lesbian discrimination Tuesday, declaring the U. In unusually strong language, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton compared the struggle for gay equality to difficult passages toward women's rights and racial equality. She added that a country's cultural or religious traditions are no excuse for discrimination.