One Equal World

Rev. Luis Leon Prays for LGBT Rights

Posted on: January 28, 2013


“[With] your blessing, we will see that we are created in your image, whether brown, black, or white; male or female; first-generation immigrant American or daughter of the American Revolution; gay or straight; rich or poor.”


These were the words of Rev. Luis Leon on last Monday, as he led the closing prayer at President Obama’s second inauguration ceremony. The prayer was similar in sentiment to the president’s own speech, where he cited equal rights as focuses for his second term, including those for women, minorities, and LGBT people.


Obama broke historic inclusiveness ground by using the word “gay” to refer to sexual orientation, calling out specific examples of civil rights history, including the Stonewall riots of 1969, the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, and the Selma civil-rights police brutality of 1965.


“We pray for your blessing, because without it, suspicion, despair, and fear of those different from us will be our rule of life,” Rev. Leon said, “but with your blessing we can see each other created in your image…”


President Obama’s speech, Rev. Leon’s prayer, and the inaugural poem from Richard Blanco—who is the first openly gay poet ever to be selected—all serve as reminders of how far we’ve come in just four years. At Obama’s first inaugural speech, Pastor Rick Warren was selected for the opening invocation. Warren had been a proponent for Proposition 8, which denied California same-sex couples the right to marry. It’s a stark contrast to what we saw on Monday. The ground is shifting, and the momentum is building.


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