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

Openly gay bishop to deliver first inauguration event invocation

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/12/art.robinson.gi.jpg caption="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. Jehovahmyhealer

    With our due respect, not everyone are God Children. Yes God is the creator of everyone. But only those who follow God commandments are call God Children. One more point, real Christians are not hateful, because we are save by Grace. Meaning that we were as sinful as anyone else, however the Grace of God redeemed us. That is what separate us for the rest of the world. Not only homosexual is a sin, lying, adultery, fornication, incest, coveteousnes, and many others that I do not have time to put down are also sin. The irony of this all debacle is that I hear so many people said my God this, my God that, but never mention the God of Righteousness, The God of Wrath, The God who destroyed all lofty ideas, The God who destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, The God of Jacob, Moses and Abraham. Now I often heard atheist only stupid people believe in God. But the irony is that only foolish people believes out of nothing something evolve. Rather than being ignorant, please open a bible and discover the true.
    With the Love God

    January 12, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. mjm

    How gay is he? I mean if we are going to go with a gay guy, we need to go super gay. That would be a good balance.

    January 12, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. Kevin Richardson

    So if you oppose homosexuality you are a bigot. If you support homosexuality you are inclusive. Yeah...no bias there.

    This issue will get resolved right after Roe v. Wade.

    January 12, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. Ken in Dallas

    TCM wrote: Too much of this catering crap….

    You're right, we shouldn't be catering to all these superstitious nut bars. I'm glad we agree. If it were up to us, all this hoodoo religious ritual would be out the door. Even so, I think it would be polite to just shut up and humor the President-elect on this one. It's his party, after all.

    January 12, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. Paul

    9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    1 Corinthians 6:8-10

    January 12, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  6. laurie

    Again and again, the Crazy Christians are out judging...... Used to be one 'till I realized how absolutely hateful and hippocritical most of them are.... especially the preachers and priests..... they pick and choose what parts of the bible (not capitalized on purpose) they want to believe and teach to others (or force on others). This country was not founded on Christian values but freedom of religion.... Christians need to remember that.... They harbor too much hate. I urge people....love Jesus but drop out of the misguided "club" known by the name of "Christianity". I doubt Jesus would even want to be a member anymore...

    January 12, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Dr Larry

    Let's see. Obama opposes gay marriage.
    Rick Warren opposes gay marriage.
    Left goes apoplectic when Warren invited.
    Rev. Gene Robinson (gay priest) supports gay marriage.
    Left response is ?
    Maybe it is just Obamas choice, not ours.

    January 12, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. Ross Hart

    Right on Obama! Finally someone who gets it.

    How can equality be bad for anyone? This is a great step forward for humanity.

    January 12, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. Adele

    I don't mind the fact he's gay, but I don't understand why they caved into the pressure from such a small minority to ditch Rick Warren. Couldn't they have each given a statement? I just think it was handled poorly. I mean it's like one extreme to the other.

    January 12, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. Ross Hart


    Your god is fake and the bible is ambigous, people use it as a crutch to further their agendas.

    That is the truth of the world, and your way of thinking is fadeing fast, as it should.

    January 12, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. truthis

    Unfortunately, being gay just does not fit. It does not fit the Bible. It does not fit evolution/natural selection. It just is not natural. Dress it up, try to force it on folks using "intelligencia", universities, or even demeaning equal rights laws for sexual preferences. Still, it does not fit.

    January 12, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. rgmwdc

    My praise to Obama for being inclusive.

    January 12, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. John

    The Republicans have misused Religion in such a brutal, ugly way. It's time to get Religion back to where Jesus wanted it. Jesus hung out with the poor, the prostitutes and the sinners, not the fat-cat CEO-type money changers.

    January 12, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. Tim

    Anti-Gay Christians....please remember that two generations ago, religion was used as a basis for keeping interracial couples from getting "married" (see Loving vs. Virginia).

    Marriage is a LEGAL definition, in addition to the religious definition (as boered1 pointed out). In this country, you can't deny any minority their rights just because your religious beliefs say otherwise.

    January 12, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. final judgment

    God did not create homosexuals, lesbians, etc., it is from the wickedness of mans (and womans) heart that all evil thought and intention comes from.

    He created them male and female, He was pleased!
    then sin entered in.......

    January 12, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. drago from Atlanta

    Thats great news. I was very disappointed at Obama that he chose Rick Warren, but that stain is now diminished now that he selected an openly gay priest. I am still not thrilled to see a presence of the christian right wing at the ceremony, but at least now everyone is included.

    I think there should be separation of religiosity and state. Church should
    really play no role at the inauguration. This is not crowning, but a
    start of the new era in politics, which has nothing to do with religiosity.
    Hopefully we will see a return to the secular state in near future.

    January 12, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  17. BC

    This is great news because Obama is a man of his word. He said he wanted inclusiveness. I respect that.

    Certainly, the religious wackos are going BANANAS!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. The Reverend Rex McKee

    Bishop Robinson is a bishop in my church, and I love and respect him..he is a Godly person, filled with truth and grace. Blessings to him and to President Obama.

    And I remind all of you still quoting the Old Testament at will that Jesus instructs us to 'love one another as I love you". Imagine a world that focused on that command, and how much closed it would be to the Kingdom of Heaven. Consider also removing the log in your own eye before you seek out the splinter in mine.


    January 12, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Happy

    If everything mentioned in the bible were viewed as the abomination that Homosexuality is viewed as, then SuperBowl sunday wouldn't exist, as touching the skin of a dead pig is also an abomination ... as is getting your hair cut ... as is wearing clothing of mixed textiles ... as is a woman preparing food while she's on her period ... but all of the things I just mentioned aren't "relevant in modern times" ...

    ... nevermind that in the story of Sodom and Gammorah, Lot offers up his VIRGIN DAUGHTERS TO BE RAPED! Geez.

    Follow the Bible exactly how it was written, but FOLLOW IT! Not just the parts of it that you want to – FOLLOW THE WHOLE THING!

    It sickens me to know that the people of this country have such disdain for gay people that they would actually strip them of their rights ...

    ... If you don't like gay marriage, fine, don't marry a gay 🙂 ... but stay the hell out of my relationship.

    January 12, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  20. PJP in OK

    ME IN FL: Your religion says God abolishes homosexuality" really???? First of all you are not talking for yourself, you are saying "your religion" meaning you belief what your religion ( minister or priest) says. God abolishes homosexuality?? Then, if he does why he created gays?? Are they not part of God's creation??? Last time I read the Bible we are all creatures of God's creation!!!
    Yes, I agree that God made us all but you find me in His Word, the Bible, where it says He made people homosexuels then and only then will I believe it. No where in the BIble does it say that, all it says is that he made man for woman and woman for man and that also applies for only marriage. It does say that men are not to have sex with other men and women are not to have sex with other women. That is the main reason He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah! Read it for yourself, it starts in Genesis chapter 19. For all of you that are taking things out of context get the truth of the Bible and quit just taking out what part you like. The truth will hurt sometimes but it will also set you free. That is in the Bible also.

    January 12, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    You all should watch the documentary on the EXORCIST. I saw it on the History Channel and it was very interesting. Satan possessed the little boy and it was the Catholic priest that was able to exorcise Satan out of the boy, of course, after months of rituals. God SENT michelangelo to SPEAK to Satan before he left the boy. The boy had two voices. One of the prince of darkness and one of Michelangelo. It was an incredible story. When Satan left the boy, they could hear a LOUD cannon explosion, yet, they went outside and there wasnt anything wrong with the buildings or surroundings.

    It's just AMAZING... God loves sinners so just repent

    January 12, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  22. Erin


    And to the geniuses quoting Leviticus: when was the last time you shunned someone for looking at their horoscope, or put someone to death for cursing their mother and/or father? It's awfully handy to follow a religious doctrine that lets you choose who to hate on the basis of convenience. I wish I had that sort of conviction.

    January 12, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. miguel

    @ Bart Kofoed,

    Are you THE Bart Kofoed? If so, can we get you on an episode of "where are they now?"

    January 12, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  24. chris@stl

    who cares .... let him pray!

    January 12, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    God is Holy and He had asked us to be Holy. To stand before the greatest source of light of love, feel his energy and power, will definitely make ONE tremble.

    January 12, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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