|I wouldn't have met my husband were it not for Barack Obama.|
I had been on the 2008 Obama campaign since day three, and I was in charge of organizing the LGBTQ community: planning the campaign's presence at Pride festivals and parades, registering LGBTQ Americans to vote, and identifying LGBTQ volunteer leaders across the country to organize their own communities.
Tyler and I met at a Pride event the campaign put together in Chicago, and we hit it off: We were both from Illinois, we both loved Barack Obama, and, like so many others at that event in 2008 and around the country today, we both would do just about anything to empower people to be active citizens and take ownership of their democracy, no matter who they were, what they looked like, or who they loved.
The two of us went on to work for President Obama in both the White House and on his re-election campaign, and I'm so proud of the progress we collectively made for LGBTQ rights over the past decade. June 26th is a particularly good day to look back. It's the anniversary of the two Supreme Court cases decided during the Obama Administration that led to marriage equality in our country -- United States v. Windsor in 2013, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, which affirmed the fundamental right to marry for same-sex couples.
President Obama is fond of quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But President Obama would be the first to admit that the arc isn't always smooth, and we have to work to bend it.
There's so much we still have to do to achieve full equality, and we at the Obama Foundation are committed to doing everything we can to empower and support the LGBTQ community -- and I take that responsibility personally as a member of the Foundation's diversity and inclusion council.
As part of our efforts, we talked to LGBTQ leaders in Chicago about how they're organizing in their communities, and what citizenship means to them. I hope you take a minute to learn about their work -- I guarantee you'll be inspired:
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