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Obama Responds To Criticisms Over Warren Pick

Jim Burroway

December 18th, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama responded this morning to the controversy over his selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation during Obama’s inauguration:

I am fierce advocate for equality for gay and — well, let me start by talking about my own views. I think it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something I have been consistent on and something I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.

What I’ve also said is that it is important for America to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues.

And I would note that a couple of years ago I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion.

Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak, and that dialogue, I think, is a part of what my campaign’s been all about, that we’re never going to agree on every single issue. What we have to do is create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable, and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans. So Rick Warren has been invited to speak, Dr. Joseph Lowery — who has deeply contrasting views to Rick Warren about a whole host of issues — is also speaking.

“Balancing” an anti-Semite with a Rabbi would clearly be outrageous, as would balancing a segregationist with someone who supports racial equality. No one would even begin to consider such an outlandish idea. I’m glad Dr. Lowery will be giving the benediction, at the end when everyone will already be leaving to escape the cold January weather. But this is not balance.

Obama is trying to bring differing sides together. I get that, and it’s an admirable and necessary task. But if Obama’s looking for someone who can disagree without being disagreeable, Warren’s clearly not the guy. If Warren had labeled Barack’s marriage to Michelle as morally indistinguishable from child rape, incest or polygamy, would Obama see fit to invite such a disagreeable figure to America’s celebration? Or is it just us that it’s acceptable to be disagreeable with?

And are we the only ones who must tolerate those who compare us to the lowest form of criminals and who laughs when we complain?

Comments

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Maurice Lacunza
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

The comparison to Obama’s marriage to Michelle, was, SPOT ON. Obama would not stand for one minute and support Rick Warren if the shoe were on the other foot. Good job once again.

Tom
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

I feel like Obama slapped me in the face…too bad I was looking forward to supporting him as president.

Pomo
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

I don’t think this is that big of a deal. however, i am pleased that Obama is acknowledging that we’re upset and addressing it. To me, that shows he does care atleast a little bit.

Clem from Tucson
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

This is just another one of the politically brain-dead GLBT community’s payoffs from the Democrats. Depending on the election at hand, it is a given that between 60% to 75% of GLBT voters vote the “party line”. Remember it was Bill Clinton who ordered “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and it was Bill Clinton who signed the hated “Defense of marriage act”. Why would anyone expect Barak Hussein Obama to behave differently, especially since he clearly stated numerous times that he was against same-sex marriage? GLBT folks have to understand that politicians will do and say anything to get elected. Obama is a politician…

Greg from Flori-duh
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Obama has sadly revealed his true colors. Today’s lame clarification stating that he is bringing diverse people together apparently applies only to gay haters. Would he invite a racist or anti-semite to give the inaugural invocation? Of course not.

Will Obama be better than Bush or McBush? Yes. Has he lost any respect from me? Yes. Will I provide this man one more cent? No. Obama is a coward. Obama is a politician. Go figure… the black President elect is displaying the behavior of a bigot! Because, after all, to allow such a hateful, disrepectful choice is a loud and clear message to the thousands of gays Americans who have been vilified and hated by the “Christian” fascists such as the dear “Reverend” Warren.

Sadly our next president is just a politician who has no backbone and cares only about power, not principle. No more $$ for you. NEXT.

Boy were we sold a load of $#%@!.

Patrick
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Kudos to Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC for highlighting the reasons why the LGBT community opposes Warren’s selection. Maddow specifically expressed her personal outrage.

John
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Perhaps some good will come of this. Obama has screwed over and insulted gay and lesbian Americans before he has even taken the oath of office.

It is all up hill for him now with LGBT folks. Nobody is going to give him any slack. He is going to have to prove he is on our side. Maybe in the long run, that is the better position for us to be in, rather than standing at the side of the table hoping for the crumbs to fall down to us.

DADT had better be repealed and ENDA had better be passed. Furthermore, if he is so supportive of Civil Unions and each state deciding on their own how to deal with same sex marriage, he had better push for legislation offering the same benefits to same sex couples as opposite sex couples, whether their states have Domestic Partnership, Civil Union or Same Sex Marriage Laws that apply.

I supported Obama with my vote and my money, but from now on, it is strictly pay for performance. If he doesn’t perform, no contributions and no votes.

Hebrewtatttoo
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

It might be helpful to actually follow that link

“morally indistinguishable from child rape, incest or polygamy”

And listen to what the guy actually said. I see no difference in what Warren believes than what Obama has said on the issue.

Zeke
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Here is what he ACTUALLY said:

Rick Warren: But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

Steven Waldman: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?

Rick Warren: Oh I do.

So where is the difference in what Warren said and what Jim said he said?

And one more thing. Please cite a reference, ANY reference, where Obama shares Warren’s view that gay marriages are equivalent to incestuous (perverted and criminal), pedophilic (predatory and criminal) and polygamous (exploitative and criminal) relationships.

Cite one single reference where Obama supported Prop 8 or ANY law or amendment to limit ANY civil right for gays including marriage.

If you see NO difference between what Warren believes and what Obama believes on the issue then you must be either blind or stupid.

Mark O\'Connor
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

I sent the following message to Senator Barbara Boxer in CA and encourage everyone to contact their representatives and express themselves.

Senator Boxer,

Please try to dissuade Pres. elect Obama from honoring Rev. Rick Warren who says that HIV was not his issue until 2 years ago.

Since the 1980s I personally have lost 31 people to HIV who were my extended family. First I lost one family. Then I found the courage to create another and lost that one too.

The fact that my extended families were filled with fun loving and creative gay men is important to me. My experience is not unique and is shared by millions of Americans, including families who lost sons to a disease, not to sex as most ignorant people believe.

Honoring someone like Rick Warren is dishonoring all these millions of hardworking American people who daily are challenged to put their real life losses behind them.

I call on Obama to stop pandering to the ignorance among us and find someone who can invoke our better angels.

This is important to me and my present family.

Respectfully,
Mark O’Connor

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