Obama Invokes Riot at Gay Bar in Inaugural Address

January 21, 2013 - 5:16 PM

Inaugural Obama

President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, waves after being sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool)

(CNSNews.com) – In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama placed the Stonewall riot at a gay bar in 1969 on a par with other historical moments in American history, including the 1965 civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, 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,” said Obama during his inaugural speech on Monday.

“Just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall,” he said,  “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.”

The speech referenced the crucial Selma march, during which hundreds of civil rights marchers were attacked enroute;  the speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall; and the first key women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. in 1848.

Markedly different was the Stonewall riot that occurred on June 27, 1969, when police raided a bar for homosexuals in New York called the Stonewall Inn. The bar was run by the mafia, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported that police raided the bar that night and the homosexual patrons began fighting, “tossing beer cans, bricks and anything else in reach at police officers, who responded by beating many of the protesters and arresting dozens of others.” The event became a rallying point for the homosexual movement.

Obama continued to talk about gay rights in his speech.

“Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts,” Obama 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.”

“Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote,” Obama said. “Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”