President Barack Obama is a man of many firsts.
In 2008, he became the first African American to hold the office. In 2009, he nominated the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. In 2012, he became the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win the majority vote twice. And at his 2013 inauguration, he became the first president to mention gay rights during an inaugural address.
“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,” he said during his speech.
Obama is making history as the first U.S. president to openly support gay rights. According to NBC News, a review of past presidential inaugural speeches turned up no prior mentions of gays and lesbians.
President Obama went on the mention signature moments in the women’s rights, civil rights and gay rights movements.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Although there is still much debate over whether same-sex marriage should be classified as a civil right, President Obama has received praise from LGBT rights groups and advocates for his honorable mention.