President Obama included gay rights in his Thursday address to the NAACP.

The president was speaking at the centennial celebration of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a group that advocates on behalf of African-Americans.

The event, held in the ballroom of the New York Hilton, drew several thousand dapper looking black men and women.

Speaking for about 45 minutes, Obama urged blacks to take responsibility for themselves, but also said the legacy of America's discriminatory past was still being felt today.

During a White House reception last month with gay leaders, Obama said he would continue to speak on gay rights in front of unlikely audiences. Candidate Obama did so and often, but as president gay leaders had been feeling neglected.

“That's why I've spoken about these issues not just in front of you, but in front of unlikely audiences – in front of African American church members, in front of other audiences that have traditionally resisted these changes [gay rights]. And that's what I'll continue to do. That's how we'll shift attitudes. That's how we'll honor the legacy of leaders like Frank [Kameny] and many others who have refused to accept anything less than full and equal citizenship,” Obama said.

And Thursday night Obama delivered, linking gay rights and civil rights to an audience that finds itself struggling to reconcile with gay issues. While top NAACP leaders support gay rights, many of its most prominent board members and chapter leaders do not.

Obama said there might be “a temptation among some to think that discrimination is no longer a problem in 2009.”

“But make no mistake, the pain of discrimination is still felt in America. By African-American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and gender. By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country. By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion for simply kneeling down to pray. By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.”

“On the 45th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, discrimination must not stand. Not on account of color or gender; how you worship or who you love. Prejudice has no place in the United States of America.”