Out Magazine has named President Obama its “Ally of the Year” and put him on the cover of its latest issue — the first time a sitting U.S. president has graced the front of a prominent gay magazine.
“This president and his administration have ushered extraordinary change into the lives of LGBT Americans,” Out reporter Aaron Hicklin wrote in the magazine’s cover story, which praised Obama for his own evolving attitude on gay marriage and for milestones he achieved while in office, including the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
“President Obama’s evolution on marriage equality has been 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,” Hicklin wrote.
The magazine also interviewed the president about gay issues, asking questions such as who the first gay person Obama ever met was (one of his college professors) and whether he thought his daughters, Sasha and Malia, had a different attitude toward homosexuality than previous generations did.
“Absolutely. To Malia and Sasha and their friends, discrimination in any form against anyone doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t dawn on them that friends who are gay or friends’ parents who are same-sex couples should be treated differently than anyone else. That’s powerful,” Obama said.
When Obama began his first term in 2009, the magazine noted, only two states allowed gay marriage. The Supreme Court legalize gay marriage nationwide in June.
Obama told the magazine that his upbringing played a big role in his commitment to LGBT equality.
“Growing up as a black guy with a funny name, I was often reminded of exactly what it felt like to be on the outside,” he said. “One of the reasons I got involved in politics was to help deliver on our promise that we’re all created equal, and that no one should be excluded from the American dream just because of who they are.”