January 21, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
In first, gays mentioned in inaugural address
Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, inauguration 2013, gay news, Washington Blade

President Obama made history by including gays and lesbians in his 2013 inaugural address in two instances. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

In what’s believed to be an historic first, President Barack Obama expressed support for LGBT equality in his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol Monday morning.

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone,” he said, mentioning the 1969 Stonewall riots by lesbians and gays in New York City along with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights work.

President Obama then added, “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.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

3 Comments
  • IF YOU GENUINELY WANT YOUR “gay brothers and sisters [to be] treated like anyone else under the law,” Mr. President, if you TRULY believe that “if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” that “progress … require[s] us to act in our time,” that “decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay,” that “we must act… we must act….,” then there will be NO MORE DELAY—no WAITING on the NEXT Secretary of Defense to take office MONTHS away—YOU will use YOUR unequivocal authority to order the Pentagon to STOP treating both individual gay and lesbian service members and those in partnerships UNequally NOW; YOU will use that same authority to ban discrimination against LGBTs by federal contractors; and YOU will order YOUR Department of Justice to enter a friend of the court brief telling the Supreme Court that both DOMA and Prop 8 should be overturned. These words were beautiful, but on these issues it is past time to act, Mr. President. ACT!

  • IF YOU GENUINELY WANT YOUR “gay brothers and sisters [to be] treated like anyone else under the law,” Mr. President, if you TRULY believe that “if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” that “progress … require[s] us to act in our time,” that “decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay,” that “we must act… we must act….,” then there will be NO MORE DELAY—no WAITING on the NEXT Secretary of Defense to take office MONTHS away—YOU will use YOUR unequivocal authority to order the Pentagon to STOP treating both individual gay and lesbian service members and those in partnerships UNequally NOW; YOU will use that same authority to ban discrimination against LGBTs by federal contractors; and YOU will order YOUR Department of Justice to enter a friend of the court brief telling the Supreme Court that both DOMA and Prop 8 should be overturned. These words were beautiful, but on these issues it is past time to act, Mr. President. ACT!

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