September 21, 2011— Out & Equal Workplace Advocates applauds President Barack Obama for including gay and lesbian rights in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

“President Obama’s words at the General Assembly are an incredible step forward,” said Selisse Berry, Executive Director of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. “We hope that this powerful message is taken to heart by leaders of countries where equality is a distant dream.”

In a groundbreaking move in New York on Wednesday, United States President Barak Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly and stated, "No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere."

This is the first time that the President of the United States has used his annual General Assembly address to call on the world's heads of state to reaffirm that every person has the right to love whom they choose.  The President's words today have special meaning given where he was speaking.  Seventy-six countries have laws that make same-sex acts illegal -- and five consider same sex acts an act punishable by death.

While Obama’s words have special meaning for gay and lesbian individuals across the globe, Out & Equal also calls upon the President to continue to be a leader, not only for all sexual orientations, but also for all gender identities by moving forward with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and supporting marriage equality so that all Americans can live free from discrimination.
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates stands for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace. “Every person has the right to love who they choose to love, without fear of discrimination,” Berry continued. “We hope that the President’s words will have a profound impact so that all global citizens can enjoy freedom and equality.”