Barack Obama praises Ellen DeGeneres for empowering gays

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Obama appeared on the latest addition of The Ellen DeGeneres show.

US President Barack Obama recently credited talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres with changing “hearts and minds” in the battle for LGBT rights.

DeGeneres begins this week’s addition of her show by thanking Obama “for what you have done for the gay community.”

The president claims his promotion of LGBT rights “is one of the things I’m proudest of,” before praising his host.

Barack Obama praises Ellen DeGeneres for empowering gays

“Changing hearts and minds, I don’t think anyone has been more influential than you,” he tells her.

“You being willing to claim who you were, [it] suddenly empowers other people.

“The law has followed, but it started with folks like you.”

Rather the take the compliment seriously, however, DeGeneres responds with a joke.

“I’m not really gay. I just thought it would work, and I’ve had to stick with it because people responded well.”

As 2016 began, Obama said that equal marriage coming to all 50 states was one of his “favourite moments” last year.

The President was he opened up about his favourite things to happen in 2015 during a discussion with People Magazine.

He picked out the reception he held following the momentous Supreme Court ruling, meaning same-sex marriage is a constitutional right and cementing weddings in all 50 states.

“The gathering outside the White House following the Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of same sex couples to marry,” he said.

Meanwhile, DeGeneres was given just cause to celebrate last month, after her show was awarded a hefty renewal deal – which will see the show remain on air until 2020.

Barack Obama praises Ellen DeGeneres for empowering gays

It was announced last month that the daytime talk show has reached a three-year renewal deal with NBC – which secures the show’s future until the 2019-20 season.

The show first launched in 2003, but still attracts around 3.9 million viewers per episode.

DeGeneres often uses the show as a platform to talk about LGBT stories and issues as part of the line-up, and has interviewed a number of prominent guests – from Caitlyn Jenner to Obama himself.