First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaWe must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees Bidens, former presidents mark 9/11 anniversary MORE will attend a fundraiser later this month with Jason Collins, the NBA player who last week became the first openly gay athlete on a major men’s U.S. sports team.
The May 29 fundraiser will be held in New York City for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and will honor the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, a DNC official told The Hill on Monday.
President Obama and his wife have been vocally supportive of Collins since he announced he was gay in a self-penned story in Sports Illustrated. The president personally phoned Collins to express his support.
“He seems like a terrific young man, and I told him I couldn't be prouder,” Obama said at a press conference last week. “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 a recognition that they're fully a part of the American family.”
Collins, 34, is a veteran center who played for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards during the 2012-13 season. He cited Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), his former college roommate, as an inspiration in helping him make the decision to come out.
The first lady expressed her support for Collins over Twitter last week.
So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back! -mo— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) April 29, 2013