Americans hold dear the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But for gay people trapped in the closet under fear of losing their jobs, life offers anything but liberty and happiness.
Why, not even 24 hours after the most powerful man in the free world mentioned the Stonewall riots and gay rights in his inaugural speech, did some people come down with a crippling case of selective amnesia and focus on the alleged lip-syncing of a disco diva?
Several have noted the president's unapologetic tone in his second inaugural address. With the whole world watching, it was a call to action to end discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. For that we can be proud. I know I am.
With one thundering line President Obama gave recognition to the commonality of our civil rights struggles, from women's suffrage to African-American civil rights to LGBT equality. He took the LGBT community's fight for equality and folded it completely into the fabric of what America means.
Not surprisingly, people have tended to hear Obama saying things consistent with their ideological predispositions. Liberals were thrilled with his explicit references to gay rights and climate change, and conservatives have taken the speech as a pledge to defend the status quo.