“if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well”
Washington, DC --- Under gray skies and above average winter temperatures in our nation’s capitol, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts administered the Oath of Office to President Barack Obama yesterday.
Thousands of people from all fifty states and the District of Columbia descended on Washington to witness a historical occasion, which was the swearing in of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the swearing in of the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, Joseph Biden.
When you consider that the transfer of power in other countries around the world is often marked by war and bloodshed, you come to appreciate our peaceful inaugural tradition.
With the entire country watching, this was an inauguration for the record books. Our first African American president was inaugurated for a second term. A Latina Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, administered the Oath of Office to Vice President Biden. A gay Latino, Richard Blanco, was chosen as the Inaugural poet, and President Obama mentioned the 1969 Stonewall riots, and the LGBT struggle and fight for equality and marriage equality, in his inaugural address. That’s pretty heady stuff, and absolutely amazing.
During President Obama’s speech he called for unity after a contentious election campaign. He talked about all of us being “created equal,” and invoked the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King on Martin Luther King day.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths - that all of us are created equal - is the star that guides 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.When I heard the president mention Stonewall, I was ecstatic. The 1969 Stonewall riots was a violent uprising against the New York Police Department, and emphatically notified the NYPD, that the LGBT community wouldn’t stand idly by, as the police arrested anyone present in a “gay” bar or meeting place .
Our community commemorates Stonewall every year with our pride celebrations, and it’s not a historical occasion that’s mentioned very often in mainstream media. I thought to myself “well done Mr. President.”
Then the president mentioned LGBT equality, and I could barely contain my smile as I wiped the tears from my eyes. The president 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.”
The president’s inaugural address is a pretty big deal, and I applaud the President for placing Stonewall in the same historical context as Seneca Falls and Selma. Mentioning equality in practically the next breath was beyond exciting and thrilling, and I don’t have the words to accurately express how enthralled I was while watching President Obama’s speech.
We still have a way to go in the LGBT struggle for equal rights, and knowing that our president supports our movement, renews my dedication and strength to combat the misinformed facts and homophobic rhetoric, that’s so prevalent in the debate surrounding equality and marriage equality.
I have to thank President Obama for his commitment to our civil rights, and for discussing it in his historic speech. His voice of reason, and clarion call to action, communicates that the LGBT community should keep dreaming about equality. His optimism encourages a lot of us, because there will come a day in the not too distant future, that we will celebrate the complex diversity that makes our country great. And we have to acknowledge that the president was a major catalyst and advocate for positive change, in the equality movement that drag queens started - on that hot summer day - in 1969 at Stonewall..
Thank you for making our community a part of your inauguration day in 2013 President Obama, it’s a historic day that we will never forget.
© 2013 JIVEINTHE415.COM