President Obama promised supporters of gay rights Friday that he will continue to advocate for their causes.
Closing out a day in which he also appealed to Hispanic voters by easing deportation rules for young illegal immigrants, Obama reminded about 500 people at the White House for the annual “LGBT Pride Month” reception that he has been on their side — most recently by endorsing gay marriage.
“Americans may be still evolving when it comes to marriage equality, but as I’ve indicated, personally Michelle and I have made up our minds,” Obama said to applause.
“As long as I have the privilege of being your president, I promise you, you won’t just have a friend in the White House, you will have a fellow advocate,” he said.
Obama took his time on gay marriage, telling reporters for several years that his thinking on the issue was evolving. He decided last month that gay couples should be able to marry.
On other issues important to gays and lesbians, the president had been more forceful, from repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to refusing to defend what he considers to be an unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act. Those initiatives received broad applause at Friday’s reception.
“Three years ago, I also promised you this: I said that even if it took more time than we would like, we would see progress, we would see success, we would see real and lasting change,” Obama said. “And together, that’s what we’re witnessing.”