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. Dylan from MN

    Yeah, I doubt it. Get your religious fundamentalist ideas out of here, they're out-dated and wrong. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    ga. January 12th, 2009 1:27 pm ET

    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 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Real Change

    The article says that the invitation was extended to him BEFORE Rick Warren accepted his invitation. It leads me to ask two obvious questions. Firstly, how many daggone invocation are given at one of these things? (seems to me that ONCE the Allmighty's name is invoced...it's plum invoced) And secondly, why has it not been reported before now that Robinson was given an invitation, and furthermore, what took Robinson so long to accept it?

    This changes the whole story for me. So far we have only been told that Warren was invited. That's very very different from inviting Warren and Robinson. Furthermore, Robinson is totally known for his stants on gays, in fact, it's the only reason anybody has ever heard of him, whereas Warren has not been synonymous with gay issue. I think it's pretty hard to say Obama is being in any way hostile toward gays in all of this now.

    To me this just totally changes the whole story.

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. lane

    Strictly out of curiosity.
    How does a personal relationship work with homosexual, Christian leaders? Or any homosexual Christian for that matter? They can not marry and therefore if they have a significant other they can not have a sexual relationship without breaking the command of not having sexual relations outside of marriage.
    Again just curious.

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Barb

    It's official..... Obama wants to please everyone, about everything, at any cost!

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Atheist priest

    But is he married?

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. steve

    Maybe all the gays offended by Rick Warren can find something else to complain about for awhile. Maybe burn some churches in California?

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. KML

    Isn't eating shellfish an abomination?

    Sad how selective use of old jewish laws and hate are so easily thrown about.

    January 12, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Barb

    I had better at least see a big Buddha statue to please my religious tastes!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. IA

    He divided his own people based on his selfishness. Glad I'm not Episcopalian. What planet is this again?

    January 12, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Jacob

    We should leave religion out of all government events. As good as religion is meant to be, it divides us.

    January 12, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    This is terrible; Obama wants to please everybody. When you don't stand for something, you fall for everything

    January 12, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Tim

    The crazies come out to attack the gay guy, just like the other crazies came out to attack the anti-gay guy.

    It's called having a seat at the table for all points of view. What's wrong with you people?

    January 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Keely

    Thank goodness there is a voice to drown out the hate-mogering that has become so acceptable among so-called Christians. This is the real message of Christianity: love and accept.

    January 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Unbelievable

    I wonder if President Obama is going to make everybody happy at this point. I think it would be helpful to have a religion-free inauguration. Leave all religious pastors, priests,imams,rabbis out of the government business.

    January 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Will, NYC

    Leviticus says a lot of things. Anybody who reads Leviticus literally is either a fool or an idiot. Two different types of fabric are a sin. Slaves are OK. Sleeping with a menstruating woman is a stonable offense.

    January 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Good! I hope majority of catholic democrats in congress are satisfied with their president. It is getting obvious that the obamas's are all about being black, being a leftout as a misfit. You get what you ask for. Gays will not have existed if they parents zygotes or a male and female zygote experienced the 'big bang'. Ahmidanejad must be laughing after being mocked for homosexuals in Iran...LOL> more democrat stupidity.

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. PDX Gal

    Rev. Gene Robinson, a kind man and an incredible inspiration. This is good news indeed. Hopefully Warren will see the error of his ways.

    There's no xian mandated for hate. It's love the sinner, FORGIVE the sin... and remember that freedom is only as strong as the distance between church & state.

    If you're going to have religious representation at a government function, then you better represent as many ideas of faith out there as you can. Not all faithful people are arrogant enough to believe that a god would make gay folks then blame them for the god's choices.

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Michael

    Leviticus also calls the eating of shellfish an abomination.

    As an atheist I find it somewhat disgusting that official government events involve the establishment of a state religion in violation of the 1st Amendment. I doesn't matter if it is Warren or Robinson, we are a nation of laws and our constitution prohibits this.

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Love each other!!

    Shame on you people! Stop hating. Come on..this isn't what this country is about. Everyone has a right to their OWN belief , relationships, and what ever else. Don't judge others worry about your own relationship!

    Now everyone kiss and make up!!! We've got a new president to celebrate about!!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. James

    This is great!!!!

    From all the hate from the above posters is the reason why you republicans lost, and lost big time!!!

    Your time has come and its gone!


    January 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Truth Hurts

    I will never accept gays and their believes but it is not our place to judge them or bash them. They will have to stand before their God and accept any consequences that is thrown at them!! We all are sinners and that's why Jesus died for our sins. It is no sin bigger then the next. Gays should not be denied the same rights as Hetrosexaul's unless it is marriage because marriage is between one Man and one Woman!! I would never want someone to force their believes or religion on me and I will never force my belief or religion on someone else.

    January 12, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Commandments

    Just like Obama, he does live the commandments by God, thoug he claims to believe in God.

    January 12, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. analise

    nice obama trying to win back the gays who got mad at you for having that priest who was against gay marriage? Wow, a leader who tries to please everyone will fail

    January 12, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. doris

    Obama is not my God. He can ask whomever he wants to be part of this inauguaral. I do not have to answer to him in the judgment.

    January 12, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Leo

    Conservatives are racists and against freedom and civil liberty.

    January 12, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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