In his sixth state of the union address Tuesday, President Obama sounded a victorious note, declaring “the shadow of crisis has passed," referring chiefly to economic challenges that have been center-stage since he was elected to the Presidency in 2008. The President also proclaimed gay marriage to be a civil right, celebrating the sea change in how Americans by and large perceive same-sex marriage:
"I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home."
Speaking of the moral and security imperative at heart in respecting human dignity, the President mentioned the words "lesbian," "bisexual," and "transgender" in his speech, marking the first time those words have been used in a state of the union address:
"That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer."
The President also urged Americans to view difference as a source of strength that should be embraced rather than feared:
"I want future generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen – man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino and Asian, immigrant and Native American, gay and straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability."
In case you missed the speech, watch it for yourself AFTER THE JUMP…