It was quite the gay presidential inaugural day Monday in our nation’s capital.
After taking the oath of office for a second term, President Barack Obama delivered an inaugural address that highlighted the issue of equality, including his hope for equal treatment of gay Americans for the nation’s “gay brothers and sisters.”
The president, who made mention of the 1969 Stonewall riots, touched upon a theme that “all men are created equal” by mentioning issues from poverty to immigration to women’s equality to homosexuality. Obama said:
“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.
“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.”
Diversity found its way into the prayers at the ceremony, as well. Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, said in the invocation:
“We are here to ask blessings upon our Armed Forces; blessings upon all who contribute to the American spirit — the American dream — the opportunity to become whatever our mankind, our womankind allows us to be. Please continue to bless [Obama's] efforts to lead by example in consideration and favor of the diversity of our people. In Jesus’ name and the in the name of all who are holy and right we pray.”
While Luis Leon of St. John’s Episcopal in Washington, D.C., said in his closing benediction:
“We ask that You will bless us with Your presence because without it, hatred and arrogance will infect our hearts. We ask for Your blessing because without it, suspicion, despair and fear of those different from us will be our rule of life. … With the blessing of Your blessing, we will see that we are created in Your image, whether brown, black or white, male or female, first generation immigrant American or daughter of the American Revolution, gay or straight, rich or poor.”
Factor in that gay poet Richard Blanco became the first openly gay man to deliver the inaugural poem and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community had plenty cheer about Monday.
And the celebration wasn’t over with the ceremony as the inaugural parade featured seven members from the Midtown-based Atlanta Freedom Bands marching and playing with a 200-plus member band representing the Lesbian & Gay Band Association. The Atlantans participating with the only LGBT band in the parade included Robert Corona, Bob Derickson, Karen Helbling, Cliff Norris, John Peterson, Danielle Steele and Eddie Young.
As the band marched by Obama’s reviewing booth they played Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Some of the lyrics include:
I'm on the edge of glory,
And I'm hanging on a moment of truth,
I'm on the edge of glory,
And I'm hanging on a moment with you
It was quite the gay presidential inaugural day, indeed.
What are you thoughts about the recurring theme of LGBT rights during Monday's ceremony? Let us know in the comments section below.