By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com September 05 2012 1:37 AM ET
Michelle Obama said same-sex couples are looking for the American dream. And she characterized getting married as part of America's "story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle" during her widely praised speech on Tuesday during the Democratic National Convention.
"If a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time… if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream… and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love… then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream," she said to loud applause.
Earlier the first lady had explained her husband's connection to the American dream and gave a nod to LGBT people.
"Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it," she said, "and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love."
See more photos from some of the convention's LGBT-inclusive moments on the following pages.
Jesse Jackson reacts with pride to Michelle Obama's speech, which was reportedly so well recieved in the convention hall that it brought some to tears.
Actor Kal Penn is campaigning hard for President Obama's reelection and said his buddy Kevin's boyfriend is his inspiration. Penn served for two years as Obama's liaison to young Americans and repeatedly cited repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" as reason to rile up that important demographic during his speech. (Read more about his speech and watch the video.)
Delegates from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico wave flags at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
The keynote speech that everyone is talking about, delivered by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who was introduced by his twin brother, included a jab at Mitt Romney over his opposition to marriage equality. "When it comes to letting people marry whomever they love, Mitt Romney says, 'No,'" the mayor noted among a list of issues where the GOP nominee is on the wrong side. Castro is a longtime supporter of LGBT equality, the Dallas Voice points out, starting with becoming the first mayor to serve as grand marshall of the city's pride parade.
Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts is in his last term as congressman but some caught him while they still can for photos while on the convention floor.
The voices of LGBT people were heard directly from the podium during the Democratic National Convention, including Mary Kay Henry of the Service Employees International Union and Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado. (Watch video of Henry's jab at Mitt Romney and video of Polis talking about his family and the value of diversity.) DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias also spoke, sharing a personal story of what it was like to grow up gay. (Watch the video.)
Tammy Duckworth, pictured right, is an Iraq War veteran who now works in President Obama's Department of Veterans Affairs, and she is a big part of the campaign's effort to rile up veterans for the reelection effort. Duckworth included repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" in the list of reasons she gave during her convention speech that Obama had "lived up to his responsibilities as commander-in-chief." She said, "President Obama pushed for fairness in the military, listening to commanders as we ended 'don't ask, don't tell.'"
Virginia Senate candidate and former chairman of the Democratic Party Tim Kaine had the rare use of the phrase "LGBT" from the podium on Tuesday. While listing promises that President Obama has delivered on, Kaine said, "He promised he'd fight for equal pay for women, college affordability for students and fair treatment for LGBT Americans — and he's kept his word. He's a tough leader who gets results."
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the successor to Mitt Romney in the state, delivered one of the night's most rousing speeches and bragged that his state is home to marriage equality. "Today in Massachusetts, you can also marry whomever you love," Patrick said, adding an argument against big government as reason to support same-sex marriage. "We believe that freedom means keeping government out of our most private affairs, including out of a woman's decision whether to keep an unwanted pregnancy and everybody's decision about whom to marry."
Newark Mayor Cory Booker cheers as the Democrats present their platform during the convention Tuesday. "This platform is a clear choice" between inclusion or exclusion, Booker said according to a transcript of his convention speech from Politico. "We choose forward. We choose inclusion." He included the platform's backing of marriage equality among America's "most fundamental national aspiration — that no matter who you are, no matter what your color, creed, how you choose to pray or who you choose to love, that if you are an American — first generation or fifth — one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your God-given talents — that you should be able to find a job that pays the bills." (Read more about the Democratic platform's inclusion of LGBT people.)