Sunday, January 21, 2018

Today in 2013: Obama First President to Use the Word 'Gay' In Inauguration

The second inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States, marked the commencement of the second term of Barack Obama as President and Joe Biden as Vice President.

In his inauguration speech, President Obama said "all of us are created equal" and that the shared equality of the American people guided the United States "through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall"—linking the Seneca Falls Convention, Selma to Montgomery marches and Stonewall riots as key moments in women's rights activism, the civil rights movement, and the LGBT rights movement in the United States together.

Additional words indicated a commitment to LGBT rights: "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."

These words made Obama the first president to use the word "gay" as a reference to sexual orientation in an inaugural address. Some analysts interpreted his statement as a reaffirmation of President Obama's previously stated support for same-sex marriage. Others noted that all nine justices of the Supreme Court were seated nearby when Obama linked gay and lesbian rights to two other groups whom the court treats with special consideration: women and racial minorities.

A private swearing-in ceremony took place on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in the Blue Room of the White House. The public inauguration ceremony took place on Monday, January 21, 2013, at the United States Capitol building.

Approximately one million people attended the inauguration, and millions more watched from around the world.

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