Former First Lady Michelle Obama revealed in her book, Becoming, that she snuck out of the White House on the night same-sex marriage became legal in the United States.
‘Looking out the window, I saw that beyond the gates on Pennsylvania Avenue, a big crowd of people had gathered in the summer dusk to see the lights,’ she wrote.
On 26 June 2015, during Barack Obama’s presidency, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.
‘Marriage is a keystone of our social order,’ the court said, and added ‘there is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle’.
The night of the ruling, the White House lit up in colors of the Pride flag.
‘From where I stood, I could see the exuberance, but I could hear nothing,’ Michelle Obama recalled. ‘It was an odd part of our reality.’
That was when she decided to sneak out, ‘suddenly desperate to join the celebration’.
Obama was joined by her older daughter, Malia, then 16.
‘Malia and I were now on a crusade. We weren’t going to relinquish our goal. We were going to get ourselves outside,’ she wrote as she continued the story in the book.
A staffer helped them find an unguarded and unlocked door.
‘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,’ she described of their journey.
When they made it outside, Obama wrote they were met with ‘the hum of the public, people whooping and celebrating outside the iron gates’. Then they saw a ‘close-up view of the White House, lit up in pride’.