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. absf

    Wow, I shouldn't be shocked, but still am, about how many knee jerk Obama haters are complaining about him "trying to please everyone" with this pick quite obviously didn't even read the article. The invite for Robinson was made "prior to the announcement" of the Rick Warren selection.
    Also, as a former Catholic, and student of religion as well as the law, I am disgusted that any religious person is speaking, regardless of their faith. The President with take on oath to defend the Constitution, not the Bible. Personal faith is wonderful for many, but it belongs in your heart and your place of worship, not a political inauguration. And while I am straight, I am further disgusted that many of you let your personal choice to believe in a certain religious tenet discriminate against homosexuality, which is not a choice. To quote Jon Stewart, when did you choose not to be gay?

    January 12, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. RJ

    I agree with your comment, with the exception that I do not believe that the Obama Administration goes far enough on the issue of same sex marriage. I believe that the "term" used, whether it be “civil union” or “marriage”, should be the same for ALL and there should not be a distinction based on sexual preference, since "separate but equal", in practical application, means "less than" to the minority party (Supreme Court’s reversal of Plessy v. Ferguson by Brown v. Board of Education.). Although Civil Unions’ maybe a step in the right direction in terms of basic rights, I do not believe it goes far enough in terms of “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” for all citizens as expressed in the preamble of the Constitution. Thank you, RJ

    January 12, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Sleepy Canadian

    Funny how such a big deal marriage is in your country. I mean, what is marriage anyway? Seems like a big waste of time and money that gets too many simple people too excited...yadahyadayadah...

    Merci, donnez-moi des French Fries.

    January 12, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. dallas female

    January 12th, 2009 2:20 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!! January 12th, 2009 1:28 pm ET




    hey jerk- they are free but not all attending are d.c. residents. SO some people are spending money to come see a FREE event. i do it all the time . i live in dallas but drive to see free events in austin…
    you should be happy because the people spending money to go to D.C. are keeping the people who work for hotels, planes, taxi's, etc in work for another month. wise up!!!
    and on the topic of this "ticker" good for Obama. at least he is going along with his promise to keep everyone included and do his best to hear both sides of the story. i agree with the atheist. i am an agnostic and don't care to much to see religion tied with politics. if we really want to stay true to our roots we need to go back to the pagan religion that was around before christianity. we can all dance naked at a fire lit in front of the mall.

    PEACE! it's more than a trend it's a lifestyle.

    January 12, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. dallas female

    Vincent Petrosino- the women did give their input- see the gospels of Mary in the Nag Hammadi Library.
    however the better statement should be men chose to keep it out because they wanted the power for themselves.
    remember the history the pagans worshiped the goddess and persecuted the christians until Constantine ruled the Christ Jesus would be the new lord.

    January 12, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. NJVote08

    lane January 12th, 2009 1:35 pm ET

    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.
    You are too funny! But, you've got the right of it. It is really messed up.

    January 12, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Obama gets it

    God loves ALL his children – Rick Warren, Rev. Robinson, you, and me.

    Great job, Obama.

    January 12, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. vet

    Where's Jerry Springer during all of this??

    January 12, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. erin

    To those of you complaining about the selection of Rev. Robinson, please remember that everybody on the other side of this argument was upset at the selection of Rick Warren. Obama is not being hyprocritical or "speaking out of both sides of his mouth" as one commentor put it. He is proving that he will be the president of ALL Americans as he promised he would be throughout the campaign and as we all know, we're not all going to agree on everything, but President Obama will listen to all sides of an argument.

    January 12, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Joe

    For all ye about to foam at the mouth:

    Matthew, Chapter Seven, verse one......

    January 12, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Florida John

    We knew the NOBAMA group would cave to pressure from the LEFT. Well done faithful servant of George Soros.

    January 12, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. NARD


    January 12, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Dustin

    I'm an atheist and i couldn't be happier with this pick and the pick of the woman also. Anything to poke the eye of the idiot fundamentalists is alright with me. I hope this is only the start.

    January 12, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Greg

    In response to Terry's quote of Rodney King's "why can't we all just get along" .... That would be fine if the religious right didn't insist on pushing the hate agenda by denying others the same rights they themselves take for granted.

    January 12, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Nunya

    Jesus loves everyone – too bad so many Christians don't.

    January 12, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Dan

    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

    Yo, moron–Leviticus also says slavery is OK. That you can leave your slaves to your children like property. Are you OK with that, too. Wake up and realize that this country is not and should not be ruled by a book of fairy tales–and hateful ones at that.

    God judges nothing seeing as he doesn't exist...

    January 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. P. Y.

    @ Vincent Petrosina

    Nice note ! I agree with you 100%.
    I do not understand people who think that they can speak for God. God will be the judge and I say let him do just that. We are not put here on this earth to judge others. In fact, we had better all start try living with each other. No matter what are beliefs and life style we all need each other.

    PE Obama is trying to please everyone and he has a right to do that. Stop being so critical and start trying to be positive and help this man. He really needs all of us to help with the problems he has inherited.

    January 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Alfred H.

    Those of you posting anti-gay comments based on religious beliefs need to back off. I'm a humanist, and in this country it is not ok for a mob who believes in the supernatural to set laws that the rest of us have to follow.

    January 12, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. AndyL

    All we are missing is a couple of midgets and bearded lady and the circus show will be complete

    January 12, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Dan

    All you religious bigots need to realize one thing: gay marriage is coming, it will come, and there isn't thing one you can do to stop it. It's just a matter of time. There will be setbacks along the way, but it's just a matter of time before it is legal everywhere in the US. Kills you, don't it?!? 😆

    January 12, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. nirma

    Atheist priest January 12th, 2009 2:31 pm ET

    But is he married to a woman?

    No, his isn't

    January 12, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. elyce Ellington

    The Christian "right" has it so wrong. No where in Christ's teachings does he say, "Juge each other and decide who God blesses and who he does not." Nor does Christ ever attempt to write laws.

    In fact, Christ came to free us from the law, and he was crucified for breaking "the law." Trumped up charges based on laws written by man.

    So, those of you who "this just makes me sick." are on the side of the pharacies who crucified Christ. How does it feel to be in that company?

    Good to know that you are so qualified to judge others...even though GOD says this judging is a sin.

    January 12, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. William, from Cali!

    "God is love!...............................and he is not a man, that he should lie"!

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. ran

    You know people how about we keep religion out of our Gov. like our founders wanted .

    January 12, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Dylan from MN

    The cynicism is disgusting on this thread, I voted for Obama simply for reasons like this. I'm sick of fighting with the right wing and at this point also the left wing. We need balance, we need to realize ourselves while understanding the perspective of others. It's a new age, in this country and in the world...

    January 12, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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