President Barack Obama addresses nation’s largest gathering of LGBT rights advocates in special video message

President Barack Obama issued a video statement airing today before 3,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates assembled for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change.

The conference, being held this week in Atlanta, is the country’s largest gathering of LGBT rights advocates who are strategizing and organizing for the critical year ahead in the areas of politics, racial and economic justice, marriage equality, faith, family, and more.

Obama’s special message comes on the heels of his historic inaugural address this week in which he said, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

In the video released today, President Obama said, “I’ve always said that the change we need in this country — real change — doesn’t come from Washington, it comes from folks like you. Change has always come from ordinary Americans who sit in or stand up or marched to demand it. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has been a partner at the forefront of that movement for 40 years. … With your help, we will continue the journey to perfect our union. The work will be hard, the road will be long, but I’m more confident than ever that we will reach a better future as long as Americans like you keep reaching for justice — and all of us keep marching together.”

Watch the president’s entire message: