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President Barack Obama was named the LGBT “Ally of the Year” by Out Magazine, which says without the help of the 44th President the LGBT community would still be working to achieve marriage equality. On that issue and others involving the LGBT community the Magazine writes “he is truly a great American.”

Expanding rights for LGBT Americans is one of the president’s legacy projects. During his first term, he signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Obama prohibited federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity and added sexual orientation to the list of violent federal hate crimes. President Obama also nominated Eric Fanning to be Secretary of the Army, which could make him the first openly gay head of the branch.

President Obama has also notably evolved on the issue of same-sex marriage, having come out against it in his first term only to fully endorse it by the second. “Marriage equality is about our civil rights, and our firm belief that every citizen should be treated equally under the law,” President Obama said in June, just two days before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

Obama got personal in an interview with Out, saying his stance on LGBT rights was born out of his upbringing and interactions he had with a professor at Occidental College. “One of the reasons I got involved in politics was to help deliver on our promise that we’re all created equal, and that no one should be excluded from the American dream just because of who they are,” he said.

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