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Barack Obama on Gay and Lesbian Issues

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Barack Obama on Gay and Lesbian Issues

Barack Obama

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

About Barack Obama:

Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961) is a Democratic Senator from the State of Illinois. Obama resonates with a diverse liberal base for his young, energetic persona and his messages of change. Below is a summary of Barack Obama's stance on gay and lesbian rights:

Barack Obama on Gay Marriage:

Barack Obama opposes same-sex marriage, but also opposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage. According to Obama's campaign fact sheet on LGBT issues, he supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples equal legal rights and privileges as married couples, including the right to assist their loved ones in times of emergency as well as equal health insurance, employment benefits, and property and adoption rights. Barack Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, which failed by a vote of 49-48.
“I was reminded that it is my obligation not only as an elected official in a pluralistic society, but also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided,” Obama wrote in his recent memoir, The Audacity of Hope.

However, in a statement about his vote against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, Obama states: "I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman." Nonetheless, Obama believes we need to fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

Barack Obama on Gay Adoption:

Barack Obama believes in equal adoption rights for gay and lesbians.

Barack Obama on Gays in the Military:

Obama believes we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, stating that the key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve.

According to an Associated Press report, President Barack Obama has begun consulting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen on how to lift the ban. The timing of a repeal is unknown.

Barack Obama on Employment Non-Discrimination:

Obama believes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Obama sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Barack Obama on Federal Hate Crime Legislation:

Obama co-sponsored legislation to expand federal hate crimes law to include crimes perpetrated because of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Barack Obama on HIV/AIDS:

Barack traveled to Kenya and took a public HIV test to encourage testing and reduce the stigma of the disease. Obama worked to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act, one of the largest sources of federal funds for primary health care and support services for HIV/AIDS patients.

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