The former US President spoke during a three-day summit for the Young African Leaders Initiative, D.C, explaining why he believes anti-gay discrimination is the same as racial discrimination.
In the attendance of individuals from sub-Saharan Africa who were there to meet American entrepreneurs and government officials, Obama was replying to a remark by a Kenyan national who made reference to those with albinism being killed so their body parts can be harvested for ritual purposes, reports the Washington Blade.
Obama explained he believed the violence against people due to their skin pigmentation is “tomfoolery”. He then compared the levels of discrimination on race to that of sexual orientation.
“The same, by the way, is true for sexual orientation,” Obama explained. “I spoke about this in Africa, and everybody is like, oh, oh, we don’t want to hear that.
“The truth of the matter is, is that if you’re treating people differently just because of who they love and who they are, then there’s a connection between that mindset and the mindset that led to racism, and the mindset that leads to ethnic conflict. It means that you’re not able to see somebody else as a human being.”
Later adding: “There’s got to be some consistency to how you think about these issues. And that’s going to be up to young people — because old people get stuck in their ways.”
Seemingly received well by those in attendance, the audience ended his remarks with great applause.
President Obama spoke in favour of LGBT+ rights during a news conference in Kenya.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz told the Washington Blade that the political figurehead spoke out privately during recent meetings in favour of gay rights during his African visit.
President Obama saw the introduction of same-sex marriage to the US during his time in office, and he addressed LGBT+ rights in his final speech as US president.
Addressing a crowd of supporters in his home city of Chicago, he asked Americans to defend their democracy and freedoms, and warned them not to “take it for granted”. He said: “We must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.
“That’s why, for the past eight years, I’ve worked to put the fight against terrorism on a firm legal footing. That’s why we’ve ended torture, worked to close Gitmo, and reform our laws governing surveillance to protect privacy and civil liberties.
“That’s why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans.
“That’s why we cannot withdraw from global fights to expand democracy, and human rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights, no matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem. That’s part of defending America.”
Adding: “If I had told you eight years ago… that we would win marriage equality, and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – you might have said our sights were set a little too high.”
We miss you, Obama. Come back?!