Former first lady Michelle Obama revealed that when same-sex marriage became legal in the U.S., she snuck out of the White House to celebrate, writes NBC News.
The Dec. 2018/Jan. 2019 EBONY cover star wrote in her bestselling memoir Becoming that her and then-16-year-old daughter Malia Obama wanted to enjoy the fun that was happening outside their home.
“We made our way down a marble staircase and over red carpets, around the busts of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and past the kitchen until suddenly we were outdoors,” wrote the EBONY Power 100 Entertainment & Arts honoree. “Malia and I just busted past the agents on duty, neither one of us making eye contact. The humid summer air hit our faces. I could see fireflies blinking on the lawn. And there it was, the hum of the public, people whooping and celebrating outside the iron gates.”
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015, after determining that a ban violated the Constitution, per NBC News.
“It had taken us 10 minutes to get out of our own home, but we’d done it. We were outside, standing on a patch of lawn off to one side, out of sight of the public but with a beautiful, close-up view of the White House, lit up in pride,” she added. “Malia and I leaned into each other, happy to have found our way there.”
A day after the court’s ruling in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges, the White House was lit up in rainbow colors.
Obama recounted the story Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“It was beautiful,” she told the openly gay host. “We stood along with all the cheering crowd, off to the side, mind you, so no one would see us, with security surrounding us, and we tried to have our tender mother-daughter moment, but we just took it in. I held her tight, and my feeling was, we are moving forward. Change is happening.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.