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A man carries a sign during Long Beach's Gay Pride parade in 2012 of Newsweek's cover declaring Obama "the first gay president." Juan Camilo Bernal / Shutterstock.com

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The United States has officially celebrated, for the first time, the “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.”

On Saturday, President Barack Obama announced that he and First Lady Michelle Obama would “join our fellow Americans and others around the world in commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia” on Sunday, May 17.

According to the president, the honorific is an “opportunity to reaffirm that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are human rights, to celebrate the dignity of every person, and to underscore that all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.”

Although the president has marked this occasion and Obama has noted such exotic holidays as Diwali and Ramadan, he has at times avoided drafting a presidential statement recognizing Easter, a federal holiday and the holiest day of the Christian religion.

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Much of Obama's second term has focused on so-called “gay rights.” Last year, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder encouraged state Attorneys General to ignore pro-marriage laws and constitutional amendments. Likewise, Obama has enacted regulations granting special rights to homosexuals in the workplace. And the Obama administration has been accused of not helping Nigeria fight the terrorist group Boko Haram because of Nigeria's marriage laws.

President Obama's statement reads in full:

Michelle and I join our fellow Americans and others around the world in commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia tomorrow, May 17.  We take this opportunity to reaffirm that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are human rights, to celebrate the dignity of every person, and to underscore that all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love. 

We work toward this goal every day. Here at home, we are working to end bias-motivated violence, combat discrimination in the workplace, and address the specific needs of transgender persons.  Overseas, I am proud of the steps that the United States has taken to prioritize the protection and promotion of LGBT rights in our diplomacy and global outreach.

There is much more to do, and this fight for equality will not be won in a day.  But we will keep working, at home and abroad, and we will keep fighting, for however long it takes until we are all able to live free and equal in dignity and rights.

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