(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama reiterated his support for NBA star Jason Collins, who announced Monday he was gay, proclaiming him “part of the American family.”
“He seems like a terrific young man, and I told him I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Obama said at a press conference Tuesday. “One of the extraordinary measures of progress that we’ve seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality, not just partial equality, not just tolerance but recognition that they’re fully a part of the American family.”
Obama had finished up the press conference and had stepped away from the podium when a reporter asked about Collins. Obama returned to the podium to answer the question.
“Given the importance of sports in our society, for an individual who has excelled to the highest level in one of our major sports to say this is who I am, I’m proud of it,” Obama said. “I’m still a great competitor. I’m still seven-feet tall and can bang with Shaq and deliver a hard foul.
“For a lot of young people out there who are gay and lesbian and struggling with these issues, to see a role model like that who is unafraid, I think America should be proud that this is just one more step in this ongoing recognition that we treat everybody fairly. Everybody is part of the family. We judge people on the basis of their character not their sexual orientation,” he added.