Illinois kicks off annual Barack Obama Day, Aug. 4

Thu. August 2, 2018 9:30 AM by News Staff

Barack Obama championed marriage equality and LGBT rights

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Friday that makes the former president's birthday, Aug. 4, "Barack Obama Day" in Illinois.

State lawmakers unanimously passed the law last year to designate each Aug. 4 as a commemorative holiday to celebrate the 44th president, whose political career began in Illinois.

Obama was a community organizer in Chicago before being elected as a state senator and then as a U.S. senator. He served two terms as president, from Jan. 20, 2009, until Jan. 20, 2017.

In 2013, Obama became the first president to include gay rights in an inaugural speech. His vision, he said, was a country in which "our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."

During his tenure, Obama championed marriage equality, regulated against LGBTQ-based employment discrimination, and created protections for gay and transgender students.

Obama turns 57 on Saturday, Aug. 4.