Scroll To Top

President Obama Has Not Called for LGBT National Holiday

President Obama Has Not Called for LGBT National Holiday


An article spoofing USA Today had said LGBT Americans would be formally recognized.

A number of LGBT websites -- for a few minutes, including this one -- were fooled by an article spoofing USA Today, in which President Obama supposedly called on Congress to enshrine June 26 as National Equality Day.

That's the day the Supreme Court's sweeping pro-equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges was handed down -- and, as it happens, the same day two other landmark pro-LGBT decisions were issued by the Supreme Court in years past. In 2013, the court struck down a key segment of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in Windsor v. U.S.,in a ruling issued June 26. And on June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court struck down all remaining bans on sodomy, formally decriminalizing consensual sexual relationships between adults of the same sex in case known as Lawrence v. Texas. Notably, each of those majority opinions was also authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The fake article, which was reported on a number of LGBT blogs, had Obama supposedly telling Marc Maron today that "I can't think of anything more deserving of a national holiday than the fight for equality. Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal. I will be urging Congress to honor the LGBT community with a federal holiday; until then I will issue by executive order declaring June 26, 2016, National Equality Day."

What's true is the president could indeed hold the power to denote a "National Equality Day" via an executive order, and that a federal holiday -- when businesses, schools, and government buildings generally close -- can only be added to the national calendar with the approval of Congress. But Obama never did that interview and never called for any holiday.

Constitution Daily, the blog of the National Constitution Center, notes that Congress has not added any federal holidays to the calendar since President Ronald Reagan made Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a holiday in November 1983. In the past 100 years, just four federal holidays have been added to the calendar, reports The Washington Post.

If you like the idea, a real petition is calling for a national holiday. And one writer at the real Time magazine has called for June 26 to become a national holiday. "When several historic events happen on the exact same day, it's a sign: June 26 should be a national holiday," wrote Charlotte Alter for the Ideas section. She added, "Because June 26 isn't just an important date for gay Americans -- it's a date that symbolizes how rapidly change can happen in America, how quickly our attitudes can evolve, and how, when used correctly, our system is one that propels us all towards a more equal state. In other words, June 26 is a date that represents what happens when America works the way it's supposed to work."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories