Progress for LGBT Americans

Together we've fought for equal rights for LGBT Americans. From President Obama announcing his support for same-sex marriage to ending "Don't Ask, Don’t Tell," take a look at the progress we've achieved over the last three years.


June 17

Ordered the federal government to extend key benefits to same–sex partners of federal employees


June 29

Hosted the first-ever White House LGBT Pride reception


August 12

Awarded the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, to Billie Jean King and Harvey Milk

October 21

Created a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders

October 28

Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law



January 1

Banned discrimination in federal workplaces based on gender identity

January 4

Lifted the ban that prohibited people with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States

March 23

Enacted the Affordable Care Act, reforming health care in America by lowering costs, expanding choice, and improving health care quality


April 15

Ensured hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights for gay and lesbian patients

June 9

Allowed transgender Americans to receive true gender passports without surgery

June 22

Clarified the Family and Medical Leave Act to ensure family leave for LGBT employees

June 22

Released America’s first comprehensive plan to prevent and end homelessness, which includes homeless LGBT youth


October 1

Awarded a grant to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center to work with LGBT foster youth

October 21

Recorded “It Gets Better” video to support LGBT youth experiencing bullying


December 21

Led a United Nations measure to restore “sexual orientation” to the definition of human rights

December 22

Signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”



February 23

Declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and announced the administration will no longer defend it in court

March 10

Hosted first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in America's schools


March 31

Completed an Institute of Medicine study on LGBT health, the first of its kind

May 27

Issued guidance to foster safer working environments for transgender federal employees

July 19

Endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, a legislative effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act

August 18

Clarified the meaning of “family” to include LGBT relationships, helping to protect bi-national families threatened by deportation

August 19

Supported lesbian widow Edith Windsor in her suit against DOMA

September 15

Ended the Social Security Administration’s gender “no–match” letters

September 20

Implemented the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”


September 30

Permitted military chaplains to officiate same-sex marriages where legal

October 1

Addressed the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner for the second time


October 13

Alison Nathan becomes second openly gay appointee to be confirmed to the federal bench under President Obama’s nomination

October 20

Awarded Citizens’ Medal to Janice Langbehn, lesbian mother whose story paved the way for hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples

October 31

Included specific data on health needs of lesbian and bisexual women in the Health Resources and Services Administration’s “Women’s Health USA 2011” federal report

November 1

In his presidential proclamation of National Adoption Month, President Obama called for equal treatment for same-sex adoptive parents

December 1

On World AIDS Day, recommitted the U.S. to creating an AIDS-free generation

December 6

Created first-ever U.S. government strategy dedicated to combating human rights abuses against LGBT persons abroad


January 28

Announced HUD’s new rule protecting against housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

February 2

Announced White House LGBT Conference Series to address issues affecting LGBT Americans, including health, housing, and safety


February 7

Promoted equal access to quality health care by enabling searches for health plans with same-sex partner benefits on

February 13

Proposed a 2013 federal budget for an economy built to last, including providing security for the LGBT community


Ensured transgender veterans receive respectful care according to their true gender through the Veterans Health Administration

March 15

Michael Fitzgerald, fourth openly gay nominee under President Obama, is confirmed to the federal bench in California

March 16

Came out against North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which prohibits same-sex marriage in the state


President Obama and Vice President Biden announced their support for same-sex marriage

June 26

The Pentagon celebrated LGBT Pride month for the first time

July 16

Launched the "Let's Stop HIV Together" campaign to fight HIV stigma

July 19

Announced nearly $80 million in additional grants to fund HIV/AIDS care and ended AIDS Drug Assistance Program wait lists

July 19

Honored six LGBT Champions of Change

July 22

The President welcomed attendees to the 19th International AIDS Conference