Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Winds of change: Obama becomes the 44th president
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4653 times since Sun Feb 1, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Providing the high point for millions of visitors to Washington, D.C.—and ushering in an era of change, diversity and hope—Barack Obama was sworn in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 20, becoming the 44th president of the United States.

Officials expected approximately 2 million people on Inauguration Day, compelling outgoing President George W. Bush to declare the district a federal emergency area, according to the Washington Blade.

The timing of the swearing-in—the day after Martin Luther King, Jr., Day—provided even more meaning to a historic day when the first African-American commander-in-chief took office. Obama spent the holiday at the Sasha Bruce House, a place for homeless teens, while issuing a "call to service" to the nation; there, he assisted people who were fixing up rooms.

The inauguration ceremony included a performance by Aretha Franklin, a reading by renowned poet Elizabeth Alexander and an invocation by controversial minister Rick Warren. The selection of Warren—who supported California's anti-same-sex measure, Prop 8—galled many members of the LGBT community, in particular. After announcing the choice of Warren, Obama's transition team selected openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson to lead the prayer at this past Sunday's inaugural kickoff event at the Lincoln Memorial.

Obama started off by saying that he was "humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors." He then acknowledged the economic crisis: "The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act—not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth."

The new president also addressed the issue of war: "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Obama's message—which stressed that this country will rise to the challenges presented to it—also mentioned religion, but did not mention sexual orientation.

Tuesday's ceremony ended with the inaugural parade, which included the Lesbian and Gay Band Association ( LGBA ) , a musical organization composed of marching and concert bands from across the U.S. and around the world. Among the songs the LGBA performed during the 1.5-mile route were Brand New Day ( from the musical The Wiz ) , The Washington Post and Hold On, I'm Comin'. Six members of Chicago's Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles marched with the band.

LGBT-rights groups expressed their happiness with the new leadership. Human Rights Campaign Joe Solmonese said that " [ t ] oday's inauguration represents a paradigm shift. The pendulum has swung away from the anti-gay forces and toward a new president and vice president who acknowledge our equality. ... Our community and do many others are looking at a new day of welcome and great promise. "

The Lincoln Memorial

On Jan. 18, a half-million people witnessed the two-hour "We Are One" concert, an all-star collection of actors and singers that took place at the Lincoln Memorial. Among those performing or speaking were Beyonce, Garth Brooks, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Denzel Washington and Bono.

Obama included the LGBT community in his speech at the event: "It's the same thing that gave me hope from the day we began this campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago. A belief that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another, bring everybody together, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Latino, Asian, and Native American, Black and white, gay and straight, disabled and not, then not only would we restore hope and and opportunity in places that yearn for both, but maybe just maybe we might perfect our union in the process. This is what I believed, but you made this belief real."

However, the event did not occur without some controversy. Obama's inauguration committee took responsibility for failing to broadcast Robinson's prayer; HBO showed the concert but did not air what the bishop said, according to a Boston Globe item. On Tuesday, HBO sent a release to Windy City Times stating that "Rev. Robinson's invocation was not included in the live presentation due to a miscommunication within the Presidential Inaugural Committee." The release also said that Robinson's invocation would be included in Jan. 21, 24 and 25 re-airings of the concert.

Also, Brooks performed Shout and We Shall Be Free, a song that many have said endorses same-sex marriage, but did not include the stanza about gays in the latter song. In addition, the D.C. Gay Men's Chorus performed with singers Josh Groban and Heather Headley; however, the group was not identified on HBO, although the individual singers were. However, Groban, when interviewed by MSNBC about the event, mentioned the chorus and called the gay and lesbian community "phenomenal," according to .

The concert ended with all of the speakers and performers singing America the Beautiful ( written by the lesbian Katharine Lee Bates ) , led by Beyonce.

Galas galore

The celebrating certainly did not stop with the concert on Sunday. Galas took place Sunday through Tuesday evenings.

Lesbian comedian Kate Clinton co-hosted ( with activist Verna Avery Brown ) at the Inaugural Peace Ball at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Jan. 19. She was joined by such celebrities as Joan Baez, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, Holly Near & Emma's Revolution and Harry Belafonte.

Among the galas scheduled for Tuesday night were the Youth Inaugural Ball, the Obama Home States Inaugural Ball ( for guests from Hawaii and Illinois ) , the Midwest Inaugural Ball and the Commander in Chief's Inaugural Ball.

Well over a dozen organizations ( including the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force ) hosted the "Out for Equality" Ball at the Mayflower Hotel Tuesday night. Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright, Catie Curtis and Cyndi Lauper were among those performing.

This article shared 4653 times since Sun Feb 1, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Wisconsin governor challenges abortion ban 2022-06-29
- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the state's 173-year-old ban on abortions, asking a state court to declare the law unenforceable, ABC 7 Chicago reported. In ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS LGBTQ+ primary candidates experience varied results 2022-06-29
- LGBTQ+ candidates running for office in the 2022 primary contests throughout Illinois got mixed results, according to results as of June 29. In the 13th District, state Rep. and House Majority Leader Greg Harris is stepping ...

Gay News

Survey: Americans hold complex views on gender identity and trans+ Issues 2022-06-29
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 28, 2022) — As the United States addresses issues of transgender rights and the broader landscape around gender identity continues to shift, the American public holds a complex set of views around these ...

Gay News

2022 PRIMARY ELECTIONS Pritzker, Jackson, Bailey among winners 2022-06-29
- The Illinois primary elections took place June 28—and there was a mix of the expected and the surprising. In the governor's race, incumbent JB Pritzker easily won the Democratic primary over Beverly Miles (93% ...

Gay News

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adds X gender marker to charge intake process 2022-06-28
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today full implementation of the opportunity to select a nonbinary "X" gender marker during the intake process for filing a charge of discrimination. "By adding a ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Giannoulias speaks about secretary of state contest 2022-06-27
- Former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has been mounting a primary run to be Illinois secretary of state. Giannoulias, who held the office from 2007-2011 and ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 (he lost to former ...

Gay News

Politicians attend Equality Illinois' pre-Parade reception 2022-06-27
- Before Chicago's 2022 Pride Parade, Equality Illinois held a reception for elected officials, candidates and community leaders at Fat Cat Bar. Among those who were slated to attend were Gov. JB Pritzker and First Lady MK ...

Gay News

U.S. House passes resolution urging Griner's release 2022-06-26
- The U.S. House passed a bipartisan resolution calling on the Russian government to immediately release WNBA star Brittney Griner, CNN reported. "Not a day goes by that we aren't thinking of Brittney and working to get ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Ald. Pat Dowell talks congressional run, Brittney Griner, LGBTQs 2022-06-26
- At the beginning of this year, Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush (D-1st District) announced that he was retiring from federal office. Almost immediately, several people announced their intentions to succeed him. (The total number is now at ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Biden's proposal, VP Harris, Elizabeth Taylor, outbreak, candidates 2022-06-26
- Lambda Legal issued a press release lauding the Biden administration for issuing proposed regulations that will help protect LGBTQI+ youth against unlawful discrimination. The proposed rules, issued by the U.S. ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Judicial candidate Brad Trowbridge on a repeat run, objectivity, Kyle Rittenhouse 2022-06-25
- If Brad Trowbridge's face looks familiar from Windy City Times' election-related articles, that would make sense. The openly gay attorney has run in local judicial races three times, narrowly losing in 2020. Trowbridge recently talked with ...

Gay News

Maggie Trevor among latest group of Victory Fund-endorsed candidates 2022-06-25
- Cook County Board of Commissioners candidate Maggie Trevor is included in the most recent group of political incumbents and candidates with the backing of LGBTQ Victory Fund. LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed 23 more out LGBTQ candidates, ...

Gay News

Preckwinkle unveils preliminary budget forecast for fiscal year 2023 2022-06-25
-- From a press release - (COOK COUNTY, IL) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today released the preliminary forecast for the County's Fiscal Year 2023 showing a projected gap of $18.2 million. This represents the County's smallest budget gap sinc ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2022 Activist Rick Garcia talks about MWRD race 2022-06-24
- Longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist Rick Garcia is among those who entered the June 28 primary to win a seat on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's (MWRD) board of commissioners. Longtime Commissioner Debra Shore, who is a lesbian, ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker expands state license plate options to include Chicago Sky, Red Stars and Fire 2022-06-24
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4434 into law today, expanding the options of professional sports team license plates Illinoisans can choose from at the Secretary of State. The change, which adds the Chicago Fire, the ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.