On her couch sat the president of the United States, Barack Obama. Ellen DeGeneres with all the humility in the world sat with President Barack Obama and thanked him for all the changes he has made for the LGBT community. During his reign as president, Obama has made positive changes in policies that have affected the LGBT community.
Under Obama’s administration, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has become a repealed law. Now lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans can serve in the military openly regardless of their sexual preference. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) now allows lesbian and gay couples the same legal protection and federal rights as couples who are straight. He made it possible for LGBT couples to get expanded health care and hospital visitation rights. Legislation was signed to include sexual orientation attacks in our federal hate crime legislation. Finally, he helped make it possible for LGBT couples to legally get married.
The president has spent a good amount of time in his political career creating change to help the LGBT feel a little more accepted in our American society. Not to be outdone in the compliment department, Obama had a few words for Ms. Ellen. He said, “As much as we’ve done with laws and ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, et cetera, changing hearts and minds, I don’t think anyone has been more influential than you on that. You’re just really likable….you being willing to claim who you were suddenly empowers other people.” He continued by mentioning that in his opinion, Ellen’s courage to come out gave others the courage to do the same and began the conversation that has led our country to accept the gay community enough to create change in policies for all.
It was quite obvious by the look on Ellen’s face she did not expect the compliment nor did she know how to take it. You could see she was moved almost to tears. It was touching to see such pure emotion not only in Ellen but the president also. He expressed his desire to constantly make his political career more about inclusion rather than about exclusion. The sincerity on both their parts was heart-warming at best.
In true Ellen fashion, once the love fest got to be too much for her to handle, she pull out a joke from her trusty bag of tricks and said, “I’m not really gay. I just thought it would work…and I’ve had to stick with it because people responded well.” It was a funny moment that broke the ice for a moment we do not get to see very often.
It just goes to show that even the president of the United States can be open and sincere. It is very seldom you get to see a moment in history where things change for the better in the legal system for a group of people who once were considered the underdog. Kudos to both Obama and Ellen for their contributions to the gay community. They both have made the American society a little better for gay citizens all over the country.