(Xtra.ca) Yes he can.
US President Barack Obama has officially proclaimed June a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month” in the United States.
“LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society,” wrote the President in an official release posted on the White House’s website.
In the release, Obama acknowledges 1969’s Stonewall event, the first major gay rights movement in the US where queers resisted police harassment. He also commends the gay community for mobilizing the US to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The US president also stresses his commitment to achieving “equal justice under law” for queers. “I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate — confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration,” he writes.
While the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights movement has “achieved great progress,” it is far from over, wrote the President, citing the importance of respecting queer youth, families and seniors.
Obama also used the release as a way to pitch a gay-friendly platform for the future. “At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United National to decriminalize homosexual around the world,” he writes.
Obama also declared his support for gay rights in his homeland, including his commitment to “enhancing hate crime laws, supporting civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy” in the US Armed Forces.
The President’s declaration comes one week after the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, which prevents same-sex couples in California to marry.