Monday, January 21, 2013

President Obama's Inaugural Address on Stonewall and Gay Equality: Historic Affirmations

Ezra Klein has published a transcript of President Obama's second inaugural address in Washington Post. Two statements leap out at me:

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.


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. 

And as these historic affirmations of human rights--for all!--are made today in the American capital, the important centrist Catholic publications and blog sites are eerily silent, as if today is a day of mourning. As silent as they have been when the human rights of their gay brothers and sisters have been recognized in referenda and legislative and gubernatorial and court decisions according gay human beings the same right to civil marriage that other citizens enjoy.

It's as if someone has given a very important party for human rights and Catholics--who want to keep trumpeting their commitment to human rights for all--have decided not to attend. Which rather vitiates the Catholic defense of human rights across the board, does it not?

Thank you, Mr. President.

(Later: just now seeing that Huffington Post has an article up noting that the president made history with these references to Stonewall and gay rights.)

The graphic is a photo from the 2009 inaugural address, at Wikimedia Commons.

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