President Barack Obama during his Inaugural Address Monday called upon Americans to finish the tasks of civil rights pioneers of past and present and said that the country’s journey to equality will not be complete until gay and lesbian citizens are considered equals under the law.
“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began,” the President said, after evoking the legacies of civil rights battles at Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall.
“For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts,” Obama said. “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.”
Obama is the first president to cite LGBT marriage equality rights during an Inaugural Address.
The President’s call for LGBT equality before hundreds of thousands gathered at the nation’s Capitol is another historic moment in LGBT history made by Obama. Last May, he became the first sitting president to publicly endorse marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.
“At a certain point I just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in May, during an ABC interview.
Obama’s historic statements were not the only LGBT significant moments. Openly gay Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco recited “America the Beautiful” before the nation.