Julia and Tony should follow Obama's lead – AME
Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Rodney Croome has praised US President Barack Obama's second inauguration speech, saying his support for full equality for LGBTI people has thrown down the gauntlet for Australia's political leaders to do the same.
In his speech Obama highlighted the fact that the struggle for equality was far from over, in particular for women's rights and LGBTI rights.
"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..." Obama said.
"It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. 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."
Croome said that not only did Obama support full equality for LGBTI people, he "placed this firmly within the context of the long struggle for equality and freedom that defines US and western history."
"The message to Australia's political leaders is that by opposing marriage equality they oppose the foundational, democratic values of societies like our own," Croome said.
Obama's speech would also give hope to LGBTI people around the world, he said.
"The speech will give great hope to GLBTI people, especially those in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who live in fear of being gaoled or executed," Croome said.
"Mr Obama has positioned not only himself, but also his nation, as the defender of their fundamental right to life and liberty."
Obama's speech - made, symbolically on the Martin Luther King Day holiday - marks the first time a US President has addressed LGBTI rights in an inauguration speech. An estimated 800,000 people turned out for the public ceremony.
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