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Inauguration 2013

Obama inaugural speech references gay rights struggle, Stonewall riots

Monday, January 21, 2013

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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18 more reader comments:

  1. made my heart swell <3 #Obama

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:41am
  2. <3 <3 <3

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:42am
  3. Mine too :)

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:42am
  4. Mine, too !!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:42am
  5. A big thank you to my President. Civil rights are for all of us and make our country stronger. Thank you.

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:43am
  6. Fueled my activist fire for sure!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:43am
  7. So amazing. So empowering. FUCKING AWESOME!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:44am
  8. AND…… Richard Blanco, Gay Cuban Poet !!! AWESOME poet !!!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:45am
  9. :-D

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:47am
  10. Yea!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:49am
  11. Finally an ally in the White House!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:52am
  12. i am more worried about taxes and putting food on the table. I could care less if someone recognizes me and my partner. Now does not mean that lgbt rights are not important cause they are. But the focus right now should be his butt and all the democrats and republicans fixing this economic mess they put us in.

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:03am
  13. That’s my man…Obama!!! Love you Mr President!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:12am
  14. @Dave, while the economy IS important, Obama spoke to much, much more in his speech than LGBT equality — however, I think you are in the minority, as the vast majority of LGBT Americans DO want our relationships validated and treated equality to straight Americans.

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 12:57pm
  15. i’m THRILLED that he spoke up for EQUALITY….think about how DOMA is HURTING the LGBT COMMUNTIY, Dave W.

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 1:52pm
  16. carrot before the ass

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 2:12pm
  17. This is a President who truly wants equality for EVERYONE!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 2:22pm
  18. It will be hard for a future president to take back what Obama said about gay and lesbian rights without looking like a total ass hatted shitheel! Thank You Mr. President!

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 4:09pm