This past Monday, history was made as President Obama gave his inaugural address for his second presidential term, which was the first to ever highlight the struggle for LGBT equality and the lives of those who are LGBT-identified and their families.
In his speech he stated:
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the start that guide 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; to hear a King Proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for it we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
In addition to having the President give a shout out to the LGBT community in his speech, there were other LGBT highlights about the inauguration day itself:
- The Presidential Inaugural Committee had appointed Reverend Nancy Wilson of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) , an openly gay pastor, to speak in the interfaith prayer service.
- Episcopal priest Rev. Luis Leon, an LGBT ally, was chosen to deliver the benediction at the President Obama’s second inauguration. He had replaced Rev. Louie Giglio, an anti-gay pastor, who was criticized for his sermons against the LGBT community in the 1990s.
- The inauguration ceremony and parade both included the country’s first openly gay marching band, the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, which was first formed in 1982. They were the first LGBT group of any kind allowed to participate in the inaugural parade back in 2009.
- Richard Blanco, an openly gay Latino, was the first LGBT poet to write and deliver the inaugural poem.
- Openly gay and lesbian service members were allowed to attend the Inaugural Ball with their same-sex partners for the first time in American history.