Obama Asserts Gay Rights in Inaugural Speech
President Barack Obama emphasized three prongs of civil rights, declaring, "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."
He went further, with direct mentions of equality regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation. He referenced both Selma and Stonewall - landmark events for black and gay Americans, respectively - and talked of our country finally seeing its wives and mothers earning an "equal living" for the work that they do.
The president hinted at a potential fight against the Defense of Marriage Act. "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law," he stated. "For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well."
"It is our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began," he said on this day, which is also Martin Luther King Day in the United States.
This was the first time a U.S. president mentioned LGBT Americans in an inauguration speech, let alone LGBT rights as one of the inspirations of the fulfilling the country's promise.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.