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HRC and PFAW Respond To Rick Warren’s Selection For Inaugural Invocation

Jim Burroway

December 17th, 2008

The Human Rights Campaign sent this open letter to President-Elect Barack Obama:

Rev. Warren cannot name a single theological issue that he and vehemently, anti-gay theologian James Dobson disagree on.  Rev. Warren is not a moderate pastor who is trying to bring all sides together. Instead, Rev. Warren has often played the role of general in the cultural war waged against LGBT Americans, many of whom also share a strong tradition of religion and faith.

We have been moved by your calls to religious leaders to own up to the homophobia and racism that has stood in the way of combating HIV and AIDS in this country.  And that you have publicly called on religious leaders to open their hearts to their LGBT family members, neighbors and friends. 

But in this case, we feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.  Only when Rev. Warren and others support basic legislative protections for LGBT Americans can we believe their claim that they are not four-square against our rights and dignity. In that light, we urge you to reconsider this announcement.

People for the American Way also denounced the selection:

…[T]he sad truth is that this decision further elevates someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans.

Rick Warren gets plenty of attention through his books and media appearances. He doesn’t need or deserve this position of honor. There is no shortage of religious leaders who reflect the values on which President-elect Obama campaigned and who are working to advance the common good.



December 17th, 2008 | LINK

I doubt the letter will do anything. Nobody like us gays.

Patrick ONeill
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

Thanks for your activism on this – I would like to see it stopped.

I would much prefer Rev. Wright to speak, but we wouldn’t want to offend the bigots.

Bob King
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

Sure we do, Jeff. Well, except for that beard stubble thing.

Point is, gay ain’t the only sort of queer, and that’s a good thing; it swells the ranks.

In fact, if you add up all the various sorts of people that these people think of as being “too queer” – and add in those of us that they haven’t realized they should be paranoid about yet, I think we could have them slightly outnumbered.

December 18th, 2008 | LINK posted a good CNN debate on this controversy . . . it rebuts the argument the Obama team is making that “we disagree on policy issues sometimes, but we need to include everyone at the inaguration.”

Two of the speakers in the debate counter-argue that this controversy is NOT about policy disagreements, it’s about Obama singularly honoring a man who says that our relationships are equivelant to beastiality and pedophilia.


December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Hey all there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The final word (the closing prayer) will be given by Pastor Lowry who is deeply supportive of same sex marriage and who represents our cause and understands us.

Keep this in mind.

December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Hey all there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The final word (the closing prayer) will be given by Pastor Lowry who is deeply supportive of same sex marriage and who represents our cause and understands us.

Keep this in mind.

That’s a start, Benjamin. But someone like Warren has no business at all delivering the inaugural invocation. It doesn’t erase the poor judgment by Obama to choose this individual.

December 18th, 2008 | LINK

I don’t think we should be too surprised by this.

When asked about repealing DADT a few months back, Obama said he’d have to consult with people and study the matter.

Study what? Large majorities of the public support repealing DADT, as do majorities of active duty personnel and even Republicans. Seems pretty obvious that repealing DADT would be pretty popular.

But Mr Charisma wants to take his time.

Charles Lanigan
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

What we need is a gay president!

Alan Richard
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

We do need a gay president, but it took a long time and a lot of sacrifice through multiple generations to get an African-American president, and it will take a lot of time to get a gay president too. For now, what we really need is more openly gay candidates for office at every level. Harvey Milk had the right idea: start with where you live and move out from there. Any volunteers?

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