WASHINGTON — In delivering his annual “State of the Union” address on Tuesday night, Barack Obama claimed that the recent proliferation of federal rulings regarding same-sex “marriage” has presented itself as a “story of freedom” throughout America.
During the segment, Obama was speaking about unity among Americans despite their differences and the accomplishments that he believes he has seen during his presidency.
“I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. I believe this because over and over in my six years in office, I have seen America at its best,” he said. “I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California; and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London. I’ve mourned with grieving families in Tucson and Newtown; in Boston, West, Texas, and West Virginia.”
“I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains; from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard,” Obama continued. “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.”
He mentioned homosexuality again later in his speech as he reiterated his beliefs about diversity.
“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,” Obama declared.
“Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America,” he continued. “We’ve laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write. Let’s begin this new chapter—together—and let’s start the work right now.”
Obama’s speech focused on a variety of issues, from the economy and education, to global warming and terrorism. During his comments on terrorism, Obama used the term “violent extremism” and did not wish to include Islam in the discussion. He later stated that he does not wish to “stereotype” Muslims by doing so.
“As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained,” he stated. “It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world. It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims—the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.”
“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,” Obama continued. “We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer.”
The room was evidently divided during the speech with Republicans often remaining silent while Democrats clapped in support of Obama’s ideas.