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Inauguration 2013

Obama inaugural speech references gay rights struggle, Stonewall riots

Monday, January 21, 2013
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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama referenced the Stonewall gay rights riots in his inaugural address, classing them as a civil rights watershed along with key moments in the struggles for blacks and women.

President Barack Obama waves after his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama waves after his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.
Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press

The president said that the truth that all are created equal guides us today “just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

The Stonewall riots happened in New York City in 1969 when patrons at a gay bar reacted to police harassment, and the events helped found the modern gay-rights movement.

Obama, who has become increasingly outspoken in favor of gay rights and same-sex marriage, also said the nation’s 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.”

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