President Obama in his weekly address posited that “the story of America is a story of progress.”
The story he said is written by ordinary people who made sure that the nation founding applies to everyone.
“Farmers and blacksmiths who chose revolution over tyranny. Immigrants who crossed oceans and the Rio Grande. Women who reached for the ballot, and scientists who shot for the moon. The preachers, and porters, and seamstresses who guided us toward the mountaintop of freedom,” all contributed to the making of the country noted the President.
He further noted that progress can be marked by special places and hallowed ground.
He said one of these special places is the Stonewall Inn and explained that in 1969 the Stonewall Inn in New York was a popular place where the LGBT community congregated for solace and respite.
However, the place was a prime target for police raid and arrest until the gay community decided to stand up for their rights thus paving the way for the liberty which they enjoy today.
The President further stated that “over the past seven years, we’ve seen achievements that would have been unimaginable to the folks who, knowingly or not, started the modern LGBT movement at Stonewall. Today, all Americans are protected by a hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is history.
“Insurance companies can no longer turn you away because of who you are. Transgender Americans are more visible than ever, helping to make our nation more inclusive and welcoming for all. And one year ago this weekend, we lit the White House in every color – because in every state in America, you’re now free to marry the person you love,” the President added.
He noted, however, that there is still more work to be done and pointed to the recent massacre of members of the gay community recently in Orlando.
“The LGBT community still faces real discrimination, real violence, real hate. So we can’t rest. We’ve got to keep pushing for equality and acceptance and tolerance,” he further said.
The President concluded that “the arc of our history is clear – it’s an arc of progress. And a lot of that progress can be traced back to Stonewall.”
He said this week designation of the Stonewall National Monument is the newest addition to America’s national parks system and is sited as the first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights.
Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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