January 12th, 2009
06:44 PM ET
3 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. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THINGS JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!!!!!!!!!!

    WHATS NEXT????????????

    January 12, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Scott the Independent

    It seems to me that the President of all the people of the United States of America is being all inclusive. The problem is...........

    January 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THE FUNNY THING IS PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY BUYING TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT!!!!!!!

    HOW CAN PEOPLE ACTUALLY SAY THIS ECONOMY IS BAD WHEN THEY HAVE MONEY TO SPEND ON THIS INAUGURATION?????

    THE TICKETS SHOULD BE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Ernie in LA

    He and Warren should get along real well. This inauguration will be a circus.

    January 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. jos

    Wake up America, don't keep on pushing God away!!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Brian From Fort Mill, SC

    Now I get it. That's why Obama also chose Rick Warren first.

    I notice the pattern now. Barack Obama will reach out to the right first, and then the left. That's a smart strategy.

    This explains why even Pat Robertson praised him, while many on the left complained. He probably figures that the liberals have nowhere else to go, so he can appeal to them second. This way, he gets the best of both worlds.

    I can honestly say that this is not how Washington normally works. Usually, politicians go after their own wing first, and to hell with the other wing, unless they absolutely have to. This is what Bush kept doing during his presidency.

    January 12, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. God

    I hear all prayers. Sometimes the answer is no.

    January 12, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Gstreet

    It is ironic that this minister demands tolerance for his life choices (homosexuality in violation of his church's teaching) but cannot extend that same tolerance to another minister that has differing views on homosexuality. I don't hear him saying he should not give an invocation because it would offend all those who are offended by homosexuality.

    January 12, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Scott

    Wow...maybe Palin will pick him as her VP running mate and we will get Dumb and Dumber III

    January 12, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. CanIcallyouJoe

    The courage this man must have to stand up to his religious organization and come out. I have had gay friends in the past, and I work with a gay man currently, and the kinds of prejudice and hatred they have to face from others is astounding. I applaud this man's courage – to stand up and say "I am gay, and that's alright" within an organization that hangs onto old and worn-out beliefs that say someone who says that will burn for eternity. I think that his involvement in the ceremony will be a nice alternative to the bigotry and hatred of Warren.

    I look forward to what he has to say at the inauguration.

    After all, Freud said that the only abnormal sexual preference is not having one.

    January 12, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. CanIcallyouJoe

    The courage this man must have to stand up to his religious organization and come out. I have had gay friends in the past, and I work with a gay man currently, and the kinds of prejudice and hatred they have to face from others is astounding. I applaud this man's courage – to stand up and say "I am gay, and that's alright" within an organization that hangs onto old and worn-out beliefs that say someone who says that will burn for eternity. I think that his involvement in the ceremony will be a nice alternative to the bigotry and hatred of Warren.

    I look forward to what he has to say at the inauguration.

    After all, Freud said that the only abnormal sexual preference is not having one.

    January 12, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. George

    Anything goes. Anybody representing lesbians in this melting pot? Hope so.

    January 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Bart Kofoed

    Are civil unions a case of "separate but equal"? I'm trying to wrap my mind around the gay marriage issue and this is kind of what I've been thinking about lately. If it is a case of separate but equal, with the only reason for the separation due to a person's sexual orientation, then not allowing gay marriage is outright discriminatory.

    On other other hand, two men being married to each other is fundamentally a different type of relationship than a man and woman being married to each other. So here we get into semantics, and for the sake of keeping the different types of relationships clear and distinct from each other, maybe it's not so bad to call gay relationships "civil unions" so long as those unions are granted all the right and privileges that marriages get. Just musing here.

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Tate

    This is digusting

    January 12, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Oh No!

    P-E Obama, for the first time I am truly disappointed in your selection.

    Romans 1:18-32

    January 12, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. what the ?!?

    looks like satan has been really busy lately. lol

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. ga.

    in Leviticus chapter 20, verse 13, GOD CALLS THIS LIFE STYLE AN ABOMINATION, God will be your judge just like he will all of us. God Bless America.

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Joe M

    I really resent Robinson's attitude and grandstanding. He's torn apart his own church. Tolerance works both ways!

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THE FUNNY THING IS PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY BUYING TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT!!!!!!!

    HOW CAN PEOPLE ACTUALLY SAY THIS ECONOMY IS BAD WHEN THEY HAVE MONEY TO SPEND ON THIS INAUGURATION?????

    THE TICKETS SHOULD BE FREE!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THINGS JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!!!!!!!!!!

    WHATS NEXT???????

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHATS WRONG OBAMA SUPPORTERS YOU DON'T LIKE OBAMAS PICK???????????

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Jeez!!

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Downunderwego

    I was anxious to watch a man make history, and now he allows a "gay bishop" to deliver the first invocation, at the Lincoln Memorial of all places! This is not what I want my children to see or understand. Never in my life have I seen so much hypocrisy!

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. gt

    That makes me sick,,,,,,i just lost all respect for obama to let this sodomite speak to america ... where is madeline ohara maybe we need to let her speake so not to ofend atheists ... change we dont need ,, show some backbone obama........

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. mark

    Wait...a gay bishop....anyways

    IS THIS NOT PROOF THAT OBAMA JUST WANTS EVERYONE TO LOVE HIM< HE IS PATHETIC

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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