Thursday, 18 December 2008

Gay rights activists in uproar over [Rick] Warren's role in Obama inauguration

Gay civil rights advocates and liberal activists were in an uproar today over news that evangelical pastor Rick Warren is to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration next month.

Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, was an outspoken proponent of a ballot measure to rescind the right of California same-sex couples to wed, and has compared homosexuality to incest and paedophilia.

"It is a slap in the face of the gay community, who are such strong supporters of Barack Obama," said Robin Tyler, a Los Angeles lesbian activist. Tyler was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that earlier this year led the California supreme court to grant same-sex couples the right to marry. Voters rescinded that right on election day, through a ballot question that Warren backed publicly, known as proposition 8.

"If you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support proposition 8," Warren said in an advertisement urging support for it.

John Aravosis, the editor of AmericaBlog, a liberal website, wondered why Obama chose Warren out of all the preachers in the country.

"When a Democrat wins the presidency, I would think we could find at least one preacher who isn't a raving homophobe to give the invocation," Aravosis said. "The Obama people know the loss on that prop 8 was a huge issue for the gay community. It is an incredibly raw issue, and then you go and pick one of the top guys behind it?" Read more
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