When President Obama paused in the hallway of the Capitol this week following his inauguration, he look out at a sea of people — an America — forever changed and sprinting toward one of the last remaining civil rights hurdles: gay rights.
Obama began his first term opposed to marriage equality and began his first term rally behind it. The Democratic National Convention was the first of its kind to even mention the LGBT community, and many firsts have followed, including the first mention in an inaugural address, and even the first openly gay participant in an inaugural ceremony, Richard Blanco, whose stirring poem encapsulated a entire nation’s history in a few short stanzas (see inaugural poem).
And for yet another first, today Obama sent a video message to the twenty-fifth National Conference on LGBT Equality. He thanked the LGBT community and those gathered at the conference in Atlanta, also known as Creating Change 2013, for “helping to lead the way to a future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, no matter who they love or where they came from.”
“I am more confident than ever that we will reach a better future,” the president concluded, “as long as Americans like you keep reaching for justice and all of us keep marching together.”