Speaking at an LGBT event tonight at the White House, President Obama took credit for liberal LGBT progress since he took office six-and-a-half years ago.
Obama said, according to a White House transcript: "Together, we ended 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.' (Applause.) We passed a historic hate crimes bill named in part after Matthew Shepard. (Applause.) We lifted the HIV entry ban, and this summer, we’re going to be updating our national HIV/AIDS strategy which will focus on eliminating disparities that gay and bisexual men and transgender women face. (Applause.) We strengthened the Violence Against Women Act to protect LGBT victims. (Applause.) Hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid are now required to treat LGBT patients the same as everybody else. (Applause.) The pillar of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. (Applause.) Just yesterday, we announced that insurance companies that cover federal workers will no longer be able to prohibit gender transition services. (Applause.)"
He added, "When I became President, same-sex marriage was legal in only two states. Today, it’s legal in 37 states -- (applause) -- and the District of Columbia. A decade ago, politicians ran against LGBT rights. Today, they’re running towards them. (Applause.) Because they’ve learned what the rest of the country knows -- that marriage equality is about our civil rights, and our firm belief that every citizen should be treated equally under the law."
But what Obama failed to mention is that he opposed same-sex marriage when he came into office. "What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman … What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it's not simply the two persons who are meeting," Obama said in 2004.
"That doesn't mean that that necessarily translates into a position on public policy or with respect to civil unions. What it does mean is that we have a set of traditions in place that, I think, need to be preserved, but I also think we need to make sure that gays and lesbians have the same set of basic rights that are in place.
"I don't think marriage is a civil right."