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President Obama sends message to LGBT community at Morehouse commencement

U.S. President Obama gives commencement address at the graduation ceremony of the class of 2013 at Morehouse College in Atlanta

This past Sunday, President Barrack Obama made history when he gave the commencement address at the all-male HBCU Morehouse College, giving words of hope, change and inspiration to the next generation of young black leaders. With the world around us changing not only for the young black community, but also for the young black LGBT community, President Obama sent a special message to all of his young gay, trans and bisexual listeners.

In the half-hour speech, President Obama touched upon the shared struggle of many Americans to simply support themselves in today’s economy, and pointed out a young graduate who struggled to get through school and support his family.

“That’s what I’m asking all of you to do: Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. Be the best husband to your wife, or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important,” said Obama.

“As Morehouse Men, many of you know what it’s like to be an outsider; know what it’s like to be marginalized; know what it’s like to feel the sting of discrimination. And that’s an experience that a lot of Americans share. Hispanic Americans know that feeling when somebody asks them where they come from or tell them to go back,” said Obama.

“Gay and lesbian Americans feel it when a stranger passes judgment on their parenting skills or the love that they share. Muslim Americans feel it when they’re stared at with suspicion because of their faith. Any woman who knows the injustice of earning less pay for doing the same work — she knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in,” he added.

We commend President Obama for taking such a great opportunity to spread a message of compassion and empathy to a large section of our nation’s up-and-coming black male leaders. As LGBT rights and representation continues to expand  and the nation continues to battle against spiking occurrences of homophobia and hate crimes, it’s important that those who will one day take over as the movers, shakers and influencers of the world will know that unity must be at the forefront of all that they do for our society at large.

Thankfully, President Obama’s not alone. Check out some other LGBT Allies in politics below. – nicholas robinson

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