BARACK Obama not only became the first President in US history to recognise LGBT people in his State of the Union address, but also called marriage a “civil right”.

Addressing Congress earlier today (Australian time) for the sixth State of the Union (SOTU) address of his Presidential term, Obama condemned “the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender”.

That line will go down in history as the first time lesbians, bisexual and trans* people were recognised in a SOTU speech.

Obama also said marriage was a “civil right”, and reiterated his support for same-sex marriage.

“I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in 10 Americans call home,” he said.

The remainder of his SOTU speech — which was publicly available in advance for the first time on Medium — focused on the economy, improved education and childcare, job creation and fairer paid leave laws, the end of the US’ war against the Taliban and terrorists in Afghanistan, climate change, and finally, a reform of the criminal justice system following incidents in Ferguson and New York that led to a wave of protests and nationwide debate on racism.

Watch the full speech here:

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