President Barack Obama was sworn into office for his second term as US president on Sunday.

The US constitution requires that the president be sworn in by 20 January, and so President Obama was sworn in at a private ceremony in the Blue Room, in the White House yesterday.

He will repeat the oath given in the video on Monday at his public inauguration.

In the video, with his wife Michelle by his side, President Obama says the oath: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”

He went on to say: “What we are celebrating is not the election or the swearing in of the president, what we are doing is celebrating each other and celebrating this incredible nation that we call home,” reports AFP 

At the inauguration today which hundreds of thousands are expected to attend, the pro-gay pastor of the Episcopal parish closest to the White House will give the benediction, as well as performances by singer Beyonce, a parade, and black tie balls.

President Barack Obama also chose an openly gay Cuban American poet, whose work focusses on his homosexual awakening, to deliver a poem at his inauguration.

In May 2012, Obama announced in an interview with ABC News that he thought gay couples should have the same legal right to marry as heterosexual couples.

A 10-year-old in the US was surprised to get a reply to a letter she sent to President Barack Obama. She had written to tell him that she appreciated his acceptance of the love between same-sex couples.

In the early hours of 7 November 2012, Barack Obama reached the projected magic number of 270 electoral college votes needed to be re-elected President of the United States of America