Watch now! President Obama calls for equality for “gay brothers and sisters” in his inauguration speech

Photo: Getty/Alex Wong

Moments ago, President Obama delivered his second-term inauguration speech, during which he made a plea for marriage equality for gay and lesbian men and women. Last year, of course, he became the first sitting president to speak out in favor or marriage equality, and today he became the first president to mention gay and lesbian people in an inauguration speech. He also placed the Stonewall Riots alongside the launch of the women’s rights movement at Seneca Falls and the the launch civil rights movement in Selma, Alabama.

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.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For 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.

I’ll be honest: In a world where cynicism and snark are the order of the day, I was moved to tears watching the first black president of the United States deliver his second inaugural address on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That he juxtaposed the gay rights movement with the civil rights movement, in this speech, on this day? It will go down in history as a landmark moment for LGBT rights.

You can watch President Obama’s full speech below:

What did you think of the inauguration speech?