Obama Appeals to Progressive Base in Inaugural Speech

President Barack Obama appealed directly to his progressive base Monday in an inauguration speech that called for "collective action" and stressed equal rights for all Americans. He called on Americans to unite and to exercise their duties to "ourselves, our nation and the world." He also spoke of the fight for gay rights for the first time ever in any president's inaugural address, mentioning the Stonewall Inn riot in the same breath as the 1848 Seneca Falls convention on women's rights. Causes beloved by feminists, voting rights advocates and immigration reform activists also received prominent mention in his speech — as did gun regulation, which Obama vowed last week to strengthen with the most sweeping such proposals in decades. He also reiterated a point from his inauguration in 2009, stressing the need for Washington to take climate change and other environmental threats seriously. Advocates for the causes he name-checked lauded his speech, with an environmental non-profit hailing it as a "call to action" and gay columnist Dan Savage thanking him.

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