President Obama said his administration’s progress on LGBT issues will not be reversed because the country’s perceptions have changed.

“I don't think it’s something that will be reversible," Obama said Wednesday at his final press conference as president. "American society has changed and the attitudes of young people have changed."

Obama said the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s activism is the reason for such progress during his administration.

“I could not be prouder of the transformation that’s taken place in our society just in the last decade,” Obama said. “I’ve said before, I think we’ve made some useful contributions to it, but the primary heroes in this stage of our growth as a democracy and society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said, ‘This is who I am and I’m proud of it.’ And that opened peoples minds and opened their hearts.”


“Eventually, laws caught up, but I don’t think any of that would’ve happened without the activism — in some cases loud and noisy and in some cases just quite and very personal,” Obama added. “What we did as an administration was to help the society to move in a better direction.”

In June 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The evening after the decision, the White House lit its exterior with rainbow lights. In 2011, Obama repealed the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.