President Obama has used the word “gay” in official remarks 272 times since taking office

His predecessor George W. Bush said "gay" twice, once in a speech denouncing marriage equality

Topics: Gay, LGBT Rights, lgbtq rights, lgbtq equality, , ,

The Human Rights Campaign did an analysis of the speeches and statements from recent presidents and found that President Obama has used the word “gay” 272 since taking office, far more than any of his predecessors. For context, George W. Bush used the word twice, and once was in a speech denouncing marriage equality. (Compassionate conservative.) Bill Clinton came in at 216, with 80 of the utterances occurring during speeches addressing the murder of Matthew Shepard and hate-crime legislation; George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan never said “gay” once in public remarks.

As the Associated Press notes, Obama also has used “lesbian,” ”gay,” ”bisexual” or “transgender” a total of 421 times in public addresses over the last five years, which HRC says has played a role in shaping the public’s evolving views on LGBTQ equality.

“Words matter an enormous amount, and when President Obama uses his platform to declare that LGBT people are just as American as anyone else, it has a huge and historic effect,” Chad Griffin, the organization’s president, said in a statement on the report. “Evidence suggests that when people know us, they don’t want to discriminate against us.”

 

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...