January 12th, 2009
06:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Openly gay bishop to deliver first inauguration event invocation

Robinson became the U.S. Episcopal church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003.
Robinson became the U.S. Episcopal church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003.

(CNN) - The first openly gay priest ordained by a major Christian denomination will deliver the invocation at the kickoff inauguration event Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial.

The Rev. Gene Robinson, Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire, has accepted an invitation issued by the Obama team prior to the announcement of the Rev. Rick Warren’s selection to deliver the invocation at the president-elect’s swearing-in, Politico reported Monday.

Robinson had been a critic of Warren’s role, calling his inclusion in the event “really, really unfortunate” because of the California minister's support for California's Prop. 8, which barred same-sex marriage.

“It's about this particular venue and the role that he has in praying for all of America, and I'm just not sure he'd pray to God the same way I would,” Robinson told Beliefnet last month.

“…This particular choice [of Warren] is not about having everyone at the table for a discussion or some sort of general forum. Every choice related to who does what at the inauguration is highly symbolic, and I think the transition team failed to ask the question of what, symbolically, this might say to some of our citizens.”

Robinson said at the time his disappointment would not affect his plans to attend President-elect Obama’s inauguration.


Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (656 Responses)
  1. Tom

    " . . .I'm just not sure he'd pray to God the same way I would."

    WOW!!!!!!!!! Talk about needing equality, egocentrism, and ignorance!

    I think it was brilliant how Obama invited this guy first and then when MANY from the gay community complained about Warren, Obama DID NOT come out and "Hey, come on, I've got a gay bishop doing the invocation." No, he let people throw around their one-sided, selfish comments and it turns out he actually invited the gay guy first!

    Everyone needs to chill out and the suppressed need to be VERY VERY aware of the unfortunate tradition of suppressed people getting rights and then turning into the same jerks their suppressors were.

    January 12, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  2. Allen

    State the Obvious,

    Dig a bit more into your history books and quit believing everything you hear in church. Our country was NOT 'founded on the bible and other (religious) traditions'. Your people have attempted for nearly a century to blur the line separating church and state, citing the religious tendencies of the people who founded this nation.

    You fail to remember that our country's first European settlers were fleeing religious persecution. You do not recall that our forefathers intentionally put in place a strict 'separation between church and state' for the good of the nation, the general welfare of it's people. You are blind to the connection between the mention of 'god' in state texts and the fear of communism in the mid 20th century.

    I am a straight man, but not blind to what is around me. Your statement that there is no hatred for gay people in this nation is absurd.

    When I was a child, I was anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-'racial mixing'. I was eating the cheerios that my parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends were feeding me. Fortunately, I found a bigger world out there during my teenage years and I hope that you find it as well. You only have to open your eyes.

    January 13, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  3. AnnaBanana

    Brilliant. He has a conservative right wing minister and an openly gay minister both delivering invocations. Oh this is going to be SO MUCH FUN watch. Both sides are going to squirm and whine. I love watching people get their panties in a bunch over nothing. I don't care that either of them are delivering speeches and prayers. I think it's great he's got someone to represent each group.

    January 13, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  4. lilith

    wow I bet all the rabid religious nut jobs will not even recognize who I take my nick from. After all their bible has been revised so many times its very doubtful one can even attribute anything in it to their god. It is disheartening to read all the posts here from the alleged christians who are exhibiting the exact behavior that caused Ghandi to say he liked Christ but not christians since they were so unlike Christ (paraphrased).

    January 13, 2009 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  5. Comradio

    I hate each and everyone of you with something negative to say. I accept god's judgement on that and hopes for mercy and forgiveness. I don't care about Rick Warren's backwards beliefs about homosexuality, and I don't care at all about having homosexual priests. It makes no difference!!!!!! Leave them alone!!! I wish this civil war would get itself over with!!!

    January 13, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  6. John t

    Yeah, well the bible says that eating shellfish is an abomination... So such your traps you ignorant hypocrites- why not pay attention to what Jesus said from the sermon on the mount- don't worry about the splinter in someone elses eye, when you have a plank in your own! God bless America, god bless Barack Obama- sincerly, a gay christian

    January 13, 2009 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
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