Australian Marriage Equality has hailed President Obama's unequivocal support for full gay equality and said it challenges Australia's prime minister and opposition leader to do the same.
'Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,' said Obama in his second inauguration speech.
Obama came out in support of gay marriage last year, but Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbot are both opposed to marriage equality.
'The message to Australia's political leaders is that by opposing marriage equality they oppose the foundational, democratic values of societies like our own,' said national convener of Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome.
Marriage equality is likely to be a key issue in this year's general election in Australia.
'The speech will give great hope to GLBTI people, especially those in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who live in fear of being jailed or executed,' added Croome.