President Obama delivered a 20-minute inaugural address Monday to a crowd on the National Mall where he not only claimed “economic recovery has begun” in the U.S, but also made an oblique reference to his support for same-sex marriage.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor during Monday’s ceremonial oath of office. Obama and Biden were formally sworn in on Sunday at about 8:20 a.m. in a private ceremony at the White House.
During the speech, Obama made note of the “hard choices” to reduce health care and the size of the nation’s budget. “But we reject the belief that American must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.” He also defended entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, saying these “do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
And he did not hide his support for the homosexual agenda.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” he said. He also called on the nation to preserve “our individual freedoms” and to “bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.”
CitizenLink Senior Analyst Carrie Gordon Earll said citizens who hold a biblical view of marriage and sexuality may hear those speech references and find inconsistent application by this president.
“President Obama’s policies to dismantle one-man and one-woman marriage in federal law and to require faith-based organizations and faith-holding companies to provide faith-violating health care coverage run contrary to the words in this speech,” Earll said. “In fact, the future definition of marriage and the practice of our religious freedoms now lie with the courts — due to the actions of the president.”
During his first term, Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare. The new law requires that all Americans purchase private insurance — on their own or through an employer — or be covered under a government plan by 2014.
The Health and Human Services mandate, a provision of the law, required secular businesses to offer possible abortion-inducing drugs in their insurance plans that renew after Aug. 1, 2012. Faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals and dioceses, have a one-year extension and must comply beginning in August of this year.
There are more than 40 cases challenging the mandate.
Following Monday’s inaugural address, the president and members of Congress attended a luncheon. The day concluded with the traditional inaugural parade and balls.
Monday’s attendance was much smaller than Obama’s 2009 Inauguration, which drew about 1.8 million. Officials expected up to 700,000 to attend today’s event.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the transcript of President Obama’s Inaugural Address.
Learn more about the Presidential Inauguration 2013.
Read the Chronology of Inaugural Addresses.