As a gay American who supported, campaigned, and voted for Barack Obama, I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed and hurt I feel by the choice of anti-gay Pastor Rick Warren to lead the inaugural invocation. Although I respect differences of opinion on social issues such as gay marriage, choosing Warren sends a strong message that the GLBT community is not being welcomed by the new administration with the same respect being given to the conservative right.
I know many of you are upset as well, so what can we do? Fortunately a Facebook group has posted some steps you can take to make your voice heard.
Let me state up front that I do not believe that Obama or his staff will uninvite Pastor Warren at this point (Obama defended the choice this morning), but vocalizing our outrage now might help the administration be more sensitive to our community in the future so your action is important.
From the Facebook group No Rick Warren at Obama Inauguration:
Anti-gay pastor Rick Warren has been selected to give invocation at Obama inauguration. This is an utter nightmare and a total insult to the LGBT community and their straight allies.
There are few things you can do about this:
- Send Obama a letter at http://change.gov/page/content/contact/ and ask Rick Warren to be removed from the event!
- Email Parag Mehta, Obama's LGBT liaison on the transition team at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your concern.
- Emmett Belivau is the Executive Director/CEO of the Inaugural Committee. Let him know your thoughts:
- Have your voice to be heard and send emails to the members of Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, including
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Sen. Harry Reid
Sen. Bob Bennett
Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Rep. Steny Hoyer
Rep. John Boehner
- Post your letters on the discussion board. Let the whole world know why are you disappointed and outraged!
- Ask your friends and family members to do the same.
Update 12/19/2008 1:00pm MST:
The Human Rights Campaign, recognizing that Barack Obama is not going to change his mind about Pastor Warren, is asking people to sign a petition to call on our president-elect to support HRC's Blueprint for Positive Change -- a five-point plan for LGBT Equality in America. You can read more and sign the petition here.