Obama's inaugural address to have an impact on LGBT community


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on January 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 7:22 PM

(WHAS11) -- President Obama's swearing in and inaugural address has many talking about the comments he made about gay rights. It was stunning in the sense that he is the first ever President to mention it in 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," President Obama said.

The comments have had an impact on the local gay rights community.

Kaila Story a University of Louisville Professor in Women's and Pan-African Studies as well as the Audre Lorde Chair of Studies in Race, Gender, Class and Sexuality Studies says the statement brought her to tears.

" I think his lip service to gay marriage and pushing Americans to understand that gay marriage and gay rights are just like any other rights and its less and less about our personal ideas, love, marriage, god and more about what our country was founded on," Story said.

The president placed the fight for gay rights right along with the struggles for women's equality and civil rights. And it comes at a critical time when the Supreme Court gears up to hear two gay marriage cases.

Chris Hartman with the Fairness Campaign says it was a defining moment for many in the community

"President Obama has really lifted this issue up probably as one of his legacies and legacy issues stating in a way that his administration is going to continue to work for full fair and equal rights for gay lesbian bisexual transgender Americans," Hartman said.

Hartman says, the Fairness Campaign hopes President Obama's comments have an impact on not only Capitol Hill, but will have an impact in Kentucky specifically with legislation currently before the General Assembly.

It could give new life to a statewide anti bulling statute as well as move forward Senate bill 28 which is the statewide anti discrimination fairness law.

That fairness law is the one that would say you can't fire someone from their job, deny them a place to live, kick them off a bus or out of a restaurant is someone thinks they are lesbian, gay or bisexual," Hartman said.