Monday, December 29, 2008

Reverend Rick

Since I'm updating the blog so sporadically these days, this is going to look strange coming right after my election night post but here goes.

I've been trying to figure out how much slack to cut President-elect Obama in his choice to have Rev. Rick Warren deliver the invocation at the inauguration. At first blush it seems to me a massive slap in the face to the GLBT folk (and their friends and family) who helped to elect him.

Yes, it is merely symbolic. It is not policy related. And maybe I can cut him some slack on this.

Then I read Warren's comments equating homosexuality with incest and pedophilia, and I read that until recently he had a message on his church's web site that an "unrepentant" homosexual could not be a member of his church.

And I think - couldn't we have found someone else?

The GLBT community is accustomed to being thrown under the bus at the first sign of friction, but it is almost as if the incoming administration is going out of their way to slight them with this decision. Make no mistake about it, Obama has been consistently against marriage rights for homosexuals, so perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised. But Warren has become a lightening rod to advocates of gay rights because of his disturbing statements linked above and because of his strong support for California Proposition 8.

To invite Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inaugural is not to encourage unity with religious conservatives - they are upset that he accepted the invitation. No, to invite Rick Warren is to say to gays and lesbians and their families, at the outset of this administration we're putting politics above civil rights and equality and there will be a powerful reminder on an otherwise joyous day that there are still second class citizens in this country.