In what will surely become an historic inaugural address, President Barack Obama made two strong mentions of gay rights. According to Politico, Obama “became the first president to use the word “gay” in an inaugural address in reference to sexual orientation, making two references to gay rights as he began his second term.”
The first reference, mid way through his address, was to Stonewall and the riots that took place there in 1969. The riots were spurred by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in Greenwich Village. The Stonewall riots were a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement.
Obama referenced Stonewall in the same sentence in which he also referenced Seneca Falls (the site of the 1848 Women’s Rights convention) and Selma (where Alabama state troops attacked civil rights marchers in 1965).
The second reference came in the next section of the address:
“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.”
Watch the video on Politico.
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copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.