Gays Still Reeling Over Inaugural Guest Decision

By Tim State in News on Dec 21, 2008 4:58PM

This morning, as Obama arrives in Hawaii for a holiday vacation, his decision to include Prop 8-supporting evangelical minister Rick Warren continues to ignite the passions of the gays, who are left baffled, wondering why the invitation has not been rescinded. Obama has even released talking points, emphasizing he doesn’t agree with Warren on LGBT issues, but they do agree on issues of moving toward a sustainable planet and on “many issues vital to the pursuit of social justice.”

Can you really pursue “social justice” when you advocate for the removal of rights of a few?

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s leading gay rights advocacy group, has blasted Obama in a letter:

Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans. Our loss in California over the passage of Proposition 8 which stripped loving, committed same-sex couples of their given legal right to marry is the greatest loss our community has faced in 40 years. And by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force even chimed in yesterday:

President-elect Obama campaigned on a theme of inclusivity, yet the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation is a direct affront to that very principle. This was a divisive choice, and clearly not one that will help our country come together and heal. We urge President-elect Obama to withdraw his invitation to Rick Warren and instead select a faith leader who embraces fairness, equality and the ideals the president-elect himself has called the nation to uphold.

With Obama’s popularity soaring, the gays are beginning to feel that they -- and their votes -- are now expendable. Rachel Maddow made a solid case for the invitation to be pulled, suggesting that if Obama wants to unite the nation, one way to do that is by not inviting a homophobic bigot to the table at the historic launch of his presidency.