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Obama Defends Choosing Warren for Inauguration

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Dec 18, 2008 10:30PM

2008_12_warrenandobama.jpgThis afternoon, President-elect Barack Obama defended his choice of evangelical pastor Rick Warren for his inauguration invocation. The choice angered gay rights advocates because Warren supported Proposition 8. From the AP:

Obama told reporters in Chicago that America needs to "come together," even when there's disagreement on social issues. "That dialogue is part of what my campaign is all about," he said.

Obama also said he's known to be a "fierce advocate for equality" for gays and lesbians, and will remain so.

Obama also said that he will continue to advocate for equality, and the choice is seen as a way for Obama to reach out to evangelical Christians during his presidency. Obama has said that he opposes same-sex marriage, but he says he favors civil unionsand he did not support Proposition 8.

The Human Rights Campaign, among many others, sent a letter to Obama asking that he reconsider the choice. Here is an excerpt:

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.

AP Photo