- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

President Obama is being lauded by members of the gay community for becoming the first president to ever use the words “lesbian,” “bisexual” or “transgender” in a State of the Union address.

“President Obama’s public recognition of transgender people in his State of the Union address was historic,” said Masen Davis, executive director at the Transgender Law Center, the Washington Examiner reported.

“While it seems like a simple thing — saying the word ‘transgender’ in a speech — President Obama’s statement represents significant progress for transgender people and the movement towards equality for all,” Mr. Davis said.

In his speech Tuesday night, Mr. Obama said, “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened … that’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

The president also called gay marriage a “civil right.”

“I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in 10 Americans call home,” he said.

GLAAD wrote an article praising Mr. Obama’s speech as “one that sets an agenda to create even more LGBT history and further LGBT equality.”

Liberal magazine Slate wrote: “With his respectful, equality-minded embrace of the trans community on Tuesday, Obama likely gave this once-maligned group a significant boost in visibility. 2014 was an amazing year for trans rights. 2015 may be even better.”

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