Obama Used Word ‘Gay’ 272 Times in Five Years


According to a report undertaken by the Human Rights Campaign, President Barack Obama has used the word “gay” 272 times in public speeches, statements and proclamations since he took office in 2009. This is much more than any of his recent predecessors, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

Bill Clinton comes closest to Obama’s tally, having used the term “gay” 216 times during his time as president. He used the word 46 times in regard to gays in the military and 80 times following the death of Matthew Shepard and when discussing hate crime legislation. Shepard was a gay university student who was beaten to death in 1998. His murder and the subsequent trails spurred efforts to enact new hate-crime laws in the US.

George W. Bush used the term “gay” twice during his two terms. Neither Ronald Reagan nor George H. W. Bush used the word in any public remarks during their presidencies.

Obama has used “bisexual”, “transgender”, “lesbian” and “gay” a total of 421 times, which the Human Rights Campaign says is an important factor in spreading awareness and acceptance of LGBT people.

Chad Griffin, the organisation’s president, had this to say: “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.

“Evidence suggests that when people know us, they don’t want to discriminate against us.”

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