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. MM

    It is amazing, one comes to this country believing all the retoric how the United Stades is the greatest and how free it is. It is amazaing that once you get here you find just the oposit. Nothing but bible thumpers, biggots, hypocrites, and people that hate people that are different or belive different then they do.

    The american people should be proud of their country and the poeple that live in it regadless of raise color or sexual preference. God made all people and loves all people regardless.

    Obama should be applauded for what he is trying to do. Not bowing down to just on group but to include all people no matter what other poeple think. It is time that someone like him has come along to make this a better place.

    As far as all your bible thumper, biggots, hypocrites and people haters get a real live.

    January 12, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. Jan Illinois

    "Everbody gets a piece of the pie', So to speak, I'm just sayin!!!

    January 12, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. nathan

    People just don't want to face the facts. Some on this forum say that God didn't write the Bible. He was the Auther and tells the truth. We are all not God's children. We are all his creation. Big differerce. God says that Homosexuality is an abonation and sin . If you disagree ,then you are not one of his.
    Some day you will realize the truth and will stand judgment for your sin and disbelief ,and misleading others. The judgments of Man is not all correct. Wise up to the real truth.
    Saying a Prayer to God ,with a sinful life is not honored . There is still time to change

    January 12, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. jim

    While we are on the topic of Leviticus, why don't we discuss chapter 11, verses 9-12:

    "9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
    10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
    11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
    12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you."

    How many of you eat shrimp?

    January 12, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. daniel

    I'll never get this – Why do people hate christians because of their stance on homosexuality when Muslims call for the death of homosexuals. I mean, at least christians want you to live ....Islam preaches your end. Why hasn't this issue been brought up? I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of stupidity...good lord.

    January 12, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. jayson

    First off,

    Mature Christians don't hate homosexuals, only the dishonest Sunday morning pew-warmers do.

    But if one claims to follow the Bible, then one cannot condone homosexuality; the God who wrote the Bible does not condone homosexual behavior.

    Remember, everyone struggles with some sort of "sin;" some struggle with homosexuality while others struggle with anger, alcoholism, or even lust. (To all my fellow straight people, if we struggle with lust, which is a common sin, then we have no right to "throw stones" at homosexuals. However, we do have the right to rebuke them with love the same way that we should be rebuking each other when we stumble).

    We should hate the struggles, not the people. Jesus would have hung out with homosexuals, but he would have lovingly made it clear that homosexual behavior needs to stop in a gentle, non-rude, non-attacking way.

    This sounds contradictory, but if you have ever had to gently tell a friend that something they do needs to stop, then you have just done what I have described here, and I doubt that you hated that friend.

    All people are created equal, but not all ideas or behaviors are equal; in God's eyes, some, like homosexuality, are inappropriate.

    January 12, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. HERMAN NAUS

    Christian and homosexual cannot be used in the same sentence. This denomination is not Christian at all since it picks and choose what it will accept or reject from the Holy Scriptures. Jesus will surely say Depart from Me I never knew you to all those who embrace sodomy as being ok with God

    January 12, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. Janelle

    Go Obama!

    January 12, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. lf

    So Gene Robinson is GAY and HAPPY all at the same time. So what else is new?? V. Gene Robinson apparently means a lot to the many parishioners of New Hampshire, so be it..

    January 12, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. Eamonn Walsh

    His presence at an event such as an inauguration is an absolute travesty! What he stands for not only has splits his church, but shows me that our nation is split! A mistake to have him even participate! He is a very bad example for our nation!

    January 12, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Angie

    virginia for obama January 12th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

    I agree. Let God judge them not me. I will pray for him as I do for all God's children.

    January 12, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  12. Robert

    I think it's great Obama is inviting both sides to the event. You can't resolve issues like this by shutting out one side.

    Can anyone here remember the days when intelligent people were a majority on the internet and the ignorant people hadn't figured out how to get the "Puter workin"? Looking at the posts below, I see that’s changed for good.

    January 12, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. miguel

    I for one am quite sure Robinson does not pray to God the same way I would. But I won't throw a fit and demand that he not be allowed to pray at Obama's inauguration. It is not that he is gay that bothers me, but his intolerance towards anyone with a different view.

    January 12, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. rolando sanchez

    please, someone, ...GOD, stop this gay bishop from conducting the ceremony, in Jesus name.

    January 12, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  15. UrbanInk

    I have read a few comments and I do not understand why so many people share the view that christians are hateful because we do not believe a gay man or woman should be ordained. First of all the condemnation is not of the individual but the lifestyle the individual chooses to follow. Secondly, the decision was made by God and if anyone calls himself a follower of God he must follow the rules of God. Also, if a registered sex offender seeks a job as math teacher in an all girls grade school will he be hired? So you see, society seems to pick and choose when it wants to practice exclusion. The Bible excludes homosexual offenders from sainthood. If I believe in the Bible I must accept that. I cannot change the rules when it becomes unpopular or inconvenient.

    January 12, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. Keith, Halifax, Canada

    After a string of disappointing moves by Obama, this is a welcome sign that he will not be abandoning progression altogether.

    January 12, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  17. Larry

    How GAY

    January 12, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  18. BettiH. Indianapolis, IN

    This is a disgrace to TRUE Christians. If you stand up for what the Bible says, your hateful, if you go along with what the world allows your not acceptable... a friend of the world is an enemy to GOD. I am a TRUE Christian... and I have to say God hates the sin, not the person...but HOMOSEXUALITY is an abomonational SIN in GOD"S own words.

    January 12, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. miguel

    @la Guy: "Writing descrimination into any constitution is appauling."

    (1) it's "appalling," not "appauling." Unless you were making a subtle reference to Paul the Apostle, who teaches against unnatural affection.

    (2) Proposition 8 did not write discrimination into the constitution. Everyone has the same right as everyone else - to marry someone of the opposite sex as nature intended.

    January 12, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. SDC

    Why, after reading this story, does the phrase, "America is going to hell in a hand-basket" come to mind?

    January 12, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. Sam

    His inviting Warren and Robinson sends the message, to me, at least, that religious and social controversy won't define his administration one way or the other. Warren and Robinson may disagree vehemently on some issues (as many people do), but they agree that the inauguration of a president is important. By selection representatives of both sides of this particular issue, it becomes a non-issue. Instead, the focus is on the unauguration and moving forward with a common purpose. That's great, because that's what we need to be doing.

    January 12, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. Kim

    Excellent choice. He's a great guy; has wonderful support of his parents, children, ex-wife, and he's been in a long-term committed relationship for many, many years. I guess that puts him ahead of a lot of heterosexual church leaders.

    January 12, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. SDC

    If Mr. Robinson was now attacked with the same viciousness that Pastor Warren has, I imagine they'd be a big outcry.

    January 12, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. gwen

    Separation of church and state people!!!!! Our country was founded on freedom of religion not just for Christians, but for all!!!
    Religion has no place in our government... period!!!

    January 12, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    FANTASTIC!!! Maybe we will GET BACK THE AMERICA WE USED TO LOVE!! BUSH has divided the country, divided families, divided the world.. Those "jugement day" people need to chill, relax, enjoy the HERE AND NOW, and get off it!!

    January 12, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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