2009 – 2017

Ensured Equality for LGBT Americans

In December 2010, the President signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law, allowing gay men and women to serve openly and with integrity in the U.S. military.

In February 2011, the Administration announced it would cease legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act’s provision defining marriage as only between a man and woman, leading to the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions holding the Act unconstitutional.

Throughout his presidency, President Obama advocated in favor of a Constitutional guarantee of marriage equality for same-sex couples—a position the Supreme Court vindicated in its historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

Love, Death, and Taxes
Edie Windsor talks to her lawyer Roberta Kaplan about how the 2009 death of Edie’s long-time partner, Thea Spyer, led to their landmark Supreme Court case which secured marriage equality nationwide.
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“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it has guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall… That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.”

President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013
Two Marines, in Love
Michael Rudulph and his partner Neil Rafferty talk about their service as gay Marines under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, which President Obama later repealed in 2010.
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