Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Importance of President Obama's Second Inaugural Address for LGBTQ People

My column from

Before and after I came out of my gay closet, I was always aware that people who were lesbian or gay (and today I would include bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, LGBTQ) were always included on a list of minority groups, right after sex and race or ethnicity, but usually before people living with disabilities. We were part of the liberal or conservative pecking order of minority groups whose rights needed to be addressed, along with a laundry list of other groups. It just seemed to be the way the world worked, and would be forever more.
But this laundry list was upended by President Obama’s second inaugural speech. I was not hopeful at the beginning of the morning, when New York U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer left out gays and lesbians in his list of people who had made great strides in civil rights before the president spoke. Sen. Schumer addressed women and African-Americans. So where were we in the checklist of civil rights’ leaders?

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