Ellen Degeneres Thanks Outgoing Pres. Barack Obama for Allowing Her To Get Married
When it comes to Pres. Barack Obama's final day in office, a thank you note simply won't do for Ellen Degeneres — she credited Obama with changing her life forever on today's (January 19) episode of her show.
Before airing a clip reel in which Degeneres chronicled her years interviewing (and absurdly laughing with) Barack and First Lady, Michelle, the talk show host delivered an impassioned tribute.
"I want to personally thank him for changing my life,” she said. “I am a legally married woman because of him and so is my wife [Portia de Rossi]. His courage and compassion created equality for everyone. He moved us forward and made more happen in the past eight years than I ever dreamed possible. I love him. I love Michelle."
The adoration has been a pretty mutual one, too. In November 2016, Obama awarded Degeneres the presidential medal of freedom for her work in promoting "equality and fairness." And, in February, Obama praised Degeneres for her work in championing the LGBTQ community during an interview on her show.
"But I will say we were driving over here today — and I meant this, I said it to my staff — I said, as much as we’ve done with laws and ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, etc., changing hearts and minds — I don’t think anybody has been more influential than you on that," he said. "I really mean that. Your courage, and you’re just really likable. You being willing to claim who you were, that suddenly empowers other people. And then suddenly, it’s your brother, it’s your uncle, it’s your best friend, it’s your coworkers. And then attitudes shift. And the law is followed, but it started with folks like you. I’m so proud of you."
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