People

LGBT Community

Progress in the LGBT Community

2013

June 26

The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, an act President Obama previously declared unconstitutional and refused to defend.

February 11

The Obama administration’s directive on same-sex domestic partner benefits opened the door for the Defense Department to extend legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of members of the Armed Forces.

2012

July 19

The Obama administration announced nearly 80 million in additional grants to fund HIV/AIDS care and end ADAP wait lists.

June 26

The Pentagon celebrated LGBT Pride month for the first time.

May 3

Under the directive of the Obama Administration, our prison system added an LGBT representative to the diversity program at each of the nation’s 120 federal prisons.

May

President Obama and Vice President Biden announced their support for same-sex marriage.

May 17

The Obama administration finalized rules implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act providing specific protections for LGBT Americans.

April 23

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission extended the gender-based employment discrimination protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to transgender employees.

March

The administration ensured transgender veterans receive respectful care according to their true gender through the Veterans Health Administration.

March 16

President Obama came out against North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which prohibits same-sex marriage in the state.

March 15

Michael Fitzgerald was confirmed to the federal bench in California, becoming the fourth openly gay nominee under President Obama, and second confirmed, after Alison Nathan.

February 7

The Obama administration promoted equal access to health care by enabling searches for health plans with same-sex partner benefits on healthcare.gov.

February 2

The White House announced an LGBT Conference Series to address issues affecting LGBT Americans, including health, housing, and safety.

January 28

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a new rule protecting against housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

2011

December 6

President Obama issued a presidential memorandum that directs all Federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.

December 1

On World AIDS Day, President Obama recommitted the U.S. to creating an AIDS-free generation.

November 1

In his presidential proclamation of National Adoption Month, President Obama called for equal treatment for same-sex adoptive parents.

October 1

President Obama addressed the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner for the second time.

September 30

The Obama administration permitted military chaplains to officiate same-sex marriages where legal.

September 20

The Obama administration implemented the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

September 15

The Obama administration ended the Social Security Administration’s gender "no-match" letters.

August 18

The Obama administration clarified the meaning of “family” to include LGBT relationships, helping to protect bi-national families threatened by deportation.

July 19

President Obama endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, a legislative effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

May 27

The Obama administration issued guidance to foster safer working environments for transgender federal employees.

March 31

The Obama administration completed an Institute of Medicine study on LGBT health, the first of its kind.

March 10

The White House hosted the first-ever Conference on Bullying Prevention in America’s schools.

February 23

President Obama declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and announced the administration would no longer defend it in court.

2010

December 22

President Obama signed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don’t Tell"

December 21 p{The Obama administration led a United Nations measure to restore “sexual orientation” to the definition of human rights. October 21

President Obama recorded "It Gets Better" video to support LGBT youth experiencing bullying.

October 1

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded the largest grant ever to an LGBT organization, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. The funds went toward combating discrimination against LGBT youth in the foster care system.

July 19

Under the leadership of the Obama administration, our representatives successfully fought for UN accreditation of IGLHRC (the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission).

June 22

The Obama administration released America’s first comprehensive plan to prevent and end homelessness, which includes homeless LGBT youth.

June 22

The Obama administration clarified the Family and Medical Leave Act to ensure family leave for LGBT employees.

June 9

The Obama administration allowed transgender Americans to receive true gender passports without surgery.

April

The Justice Department issued guidance stating that federal prosecutors should enforce criminal provisions in the Violence Against Women Act in cases involving same-sex relationships.

April 15

The Obama administration ensured hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights for gay and lesbian patients.

January 4

The Obama administration lifted the ban that prohibited people with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States.

January 1

The Obama administration banned discrimination in federal workplaces based on gender identity.

2009

November p{President Obama sent an administration official to the Senate to testify in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the first time any official of an administration has done so. October 30

President Obama signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act.

October 28

President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into Law, which extends the coverage of Federal hate crimes law to include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

October 21

The Obama administration created a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders.

August 12

President Obama awarded the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, to Billie Jean King and Harvey Milk.

June 29

President Obama hosted the first-ever White House LGBT Pride reception.

June 17

President Obama ordered the federal government to extend key benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

June 19

The Census Bureau ended a policy that kept LGBT relationships from being counted, encouraging couples who consider themselves married to file that way and urging transgender Americans to identify their true gender.

Recent Updates
  • Democrats for Equality

    As Democrats, we're committed to full equality for every American. In advance of the Supreme Court's decision on the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, we've created a special "Democrats for Equality" image. Please join us and show your support by changing your social media profile pictures to the image below.

    Democrats for Equality

  • People’s rights, not politics

    As Democrats, our agenda is full equality under the law for every American.

    Last night, I attended the DNC's annual LGBT Leadership Gala — and wow was it a great night!

    Not only did we have our fabulous First Lady, Jason Collins, Sara Bareilles, and Andy Cohen in attendance, we had hundreds of Democrats fired up and ready to fight for equality.

    There is no gay agenda or straight agenda. As Democrats, our only agenda is full equality under the law for every American. Because this issue isn't about politics, it’s about people's rights.

    For so many Americans, when the President signed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, it was personal. When he put in place hospital visitation rights for LGBT couples, it meant the world to some couples. When his administration established and developed the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy, it was life-changing. And when his administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging them to strike down Proposition 8, he sent the message that we as Americans will not tolerate inequality.

    Of course there is more to do. But by coming together at events like last night's and supporting the President and Democrats in Congress, we can do it.

    It is an undeniable fact that after years of dogged determination by LGBT leaders, activists and grassroots supporters, the tide is turning in our favor. But we can’t turn back for a second.

    We need to support candidates who are working toward real equality.

    Please join us and fight for equal rights for every American.

    Fight for equality

  • Only One Party Supports Equality

    This week, the Supreme Court heard two very important cases on marriage equality: Proposition 8 and DOMA. We don't know what the court will decide, but here's what we do know: There's only one party fighting to make sure every American has the right to marry the person they love.

    This week, the Supreme Court heard two very important cases on marriage equality: Proposition 8 and DOMA. We don't know what the court will decide, but here's what we do know: There's only one party fighting to make sure every American has the right to marry the person they love.

    Read More
  • VAWA signed into law

    Today, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law. This law strengthens the criminal justice system’s response to crimes against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking.

    Read More
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Obama: It Gets Better
Recent Action
Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
The majority of the Armed Forces is comprised of Young Americans volunteering to defend this nation and its ideals. However, a sect of the population was forced to hide their sexual orientation in order to do so. President Obama lead the charge to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell allowing gay and lesbian members of the Armed Forces to serve openly for the first time in American history.
Strengthening enforcement of human rights laws
Democrats passed the Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2009, creating a special section in the Justice Department to enforce human rights laws, specifically addressing genocide and child soldier recruitment.
Strengthening protections against hate crimes
Democrats passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, giving law enforcement officials the power and tools to prosecute those who commit hate crimes.
Milestones