Obama under fire from LGBT community for Rick Warren choice

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Hilary Rosen on Anderson Cooper 360 rose to our defense last night, succinctly and passionately describing the outrage of many in the LGBT community over Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation for the inauguration.

Hillary Rosen: “First the glibness, that, well it’s just a bunch of gays being unhappy that people don’t agree with them, is wrong. You know, (at) one time the Bible was used to justify slavery. If this was a preacher, out there, using more weapons against African-Americans we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, so second of all, the fact that we’re even having a conversation, means that this is a mistake in choice. This is a day when people are to be brought together. There are hundreds of preachers across the country with stature and thoughtfulness and other ways to bring this country together on an inauguration day for the new president. That’s the choice he should have made.”

Watch the clip.

As expected, here is the defense circulated by the Obama campaign this morning:

“This will be the most open, accessible, and inclusive Inauguration in American history.

In keeping with the spirit of unity and common purpose this Inauguration will reflect, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have chosen some of the world’s most gifted artists and people with broad appeal to participate in the inaugural ceremonies.

Pastor Rick Warren has a long history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, the President-elect recently addressed Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to salute Warren’s leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and pledge his support to the effort in the years ahead.

The President-elect disagrees with Pastor Warren on issues that affect the LGBT community. They disagree on other issues as well. But what’s important is that they agree on many issues vital to the pursuit of social justice, including poverty relief and moving toward a sustainable planet; and they share a commitment to renewing America’s promise by expanding opportunity at home and restoring our moral leadership abroad.

As he’s said again and again, the President-elect is committed to bringing together all sides of the faith discussion in search of common ground. That’s the only way we’ll be able to unite this country with the resolve and common purpose necessary to solve the challenges we face.

The Inauguration will also involve Reverend Joseph Lowery, who will be delivering the official benediction at the Inauguration. Reverend Lowery is a giant of the civil rights movement who boasts a proudly progressive record on LGBT issues. He has been a leader in the struggle for civil rights for all Americans, gay or straight.

And for the very first time, there will be a group representing the interests of LGBT Americans participating in the Inaugural Parade.”

And Obama’s response to the controversy this morning.

I suppose we should be thankful the inclusiveness doesn’t extend to Fred Phelps. Or David Duke.

Post by ILO on 12/18/08 at 12:16 pm