US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was historic moment for the American LGBT community, and marked the end of an exceptional 12 months for global LGBT awareness.

In his speech, the President declared that Americans “condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.”

This marks the first time a president has used the words transgender and bisexual in a State of the Union address, and the the explicit use of the term lesbian rather than the generic gay.

This shout-out is a considerable victory for both bisexual and transgender Americans, who have struggled to achieve mainstream recognition for decades.

“That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

We do these things not only because they are the right things to do, but because ultimately they will make us safer.”

President Barack Obama

Mr Obama also praised the rapid progress on same-sex marriage across the United States over the past year.

“I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. I believe this because over and over in my six years in office. I have seen America at its best…

I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home.”

President Barack Obama

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