Newsweek cover: Obama is country's "first gay president"

Newsweek declares President Barack Obama the country's "first gay president" following his endorsement of same-sex marriage.

Newsweek magazine is heralding President Barack Obama as the country's "first gay president" on its latest cover that shows a rainbow-colored halo over the commander-in-chief's head.

The magazine's headline for the May 21 issue comes after Obama said for the first time last week that he believes gay marriage should be legal, USA Today reported.

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The accompanying story is written by Andrew Sullivan, a conservative columnist who is gay. He wrote that he was moved to tears by Obama's statement, which he made in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts.

Sullivan argues that Obama's life as the son of a black father and a white mother makes him especially sensitive to the plight of gays and lesbians.

"The point of the gay-rights movement, after all, is not about helping people be gay. It is about creating the space for people to be themselves. This has been Obama's life's work," Sullivan wrote.

More from GlobalPost: Poll: 51% support Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage

A USA Today/Gallup poll released last week showed that 51 percent of Americans approve of Obama's stance, yet six in 10 said the president's support for same-sex marriage will have no bearing on their vote in November.

The eye-raising Newsweek cover comes just days after Time magazine showed a mother breastfeeding a 3-year-old boy on its latest cover.

Newsweek editor Tina Brown explained the Obama "gaylo," as some have dubbed it, to Politico.

“If President Clinton was the ‘first black president’ then Obama earns every stripe in that ‘gaylo’ with last week’s gay marriage proclamation," she said via email. "Newsweek’s cover pays tribute to his newly ordained place in history.”

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