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Kathy Belge

President Obama Makes History at Inauguration

By January 23, 2013

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Michele and President ObamaMonday President Obama was sworn in for his second term as President of the United States. He made history during his inaugural address by becoming the first president to address LGBT rights. "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," Obama said. Seneca Falls refers to birthplace of the Women's Rights Movement, Selma refers to the Civil Rights Movement and of course, Stonewall is the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. It was amazing not only that the President mentioned LGBT rights, but that he equated them with other important social justice movements. But he didn't stop there. President Obama also made a plea for marriage equality.

"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," President Obama said in his speech. This comes just months after he came out fully in support of marriage equality.

2013 could be a pivotal year for gay rights. The Supreme Court is taking up the issue of marriage equality and the Defense of Marriage Law. Let's hope that the President backs up his words with actions and continues to advocate for LGBT rights during his next four years in office.

Although we've made some gains in the past years with the dismantling of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,", the passage of hate crime legislation and hospital visitation rights.

We still have a ways to go until LGBT Americans have full rights. There is still no Federal Employment Non-discrimination law, there is no comprehensive immigration law and adoption laws vary from state to state. We've come a long way, but we've still got a way to go. What changes do you hope to see in our country by 2016?

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Comments
January 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm
(1) Amber says:

The president touched upon my personal key points for his next four years. Marriage equality for LGBT, and making it equal across the US. I would also like to see the state-by-state hoops married lesbians, and fellow GBT, have to jump through to legally change names, adopt, and file taxes. The most important change I want to see is the removal of barrier language towards the LGBT community. It should not be politically correct to openly tell us that the LGBT community do not deserve fair and equal rights, yet it is heard everyday. If we used this type of dialog in the media towards ethnic groups or religious groups, it would be considered unethical. Lets make this language unethical as well.

January 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm
(2) janice says:

You failed to mention that the inaugural poet is Hispanic and gay. Richard Blanco is a great writer and Obama put him in the spotlight!

January 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm
(3) Michelle Ress says:

Obama says a lot of things like medical marijuana would low on his list of things to arrest people for but he’s still closing dispensaries and the prisons are still full to overflowing so I take whatever he says with a grain of salt. To me actions speak louder than words.

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