Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama Responds to Warren Concerns

Filed under: Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 14:40

obama.jpgWhen President-elect (and TIME magazine’s Person of the Year for 2008) announced controversial and ultra-conservative Evangelical minister Rick Warren was going to be delivering a speech at his inauguration ceremony, GLBT advocacy groups were outraged. Warren has been an outspoken opponent of GLBT equality (and just about every other social issue) and has consistently supported discriminatory and degrading ideologies towards GLBT persons. Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest GLBT equality advocacy group released the following letter to the President-elect, linked here¬†yesterday:


Obama responded today: “Well, let me start by talking about my own views. I think it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something I have been consistent on and something I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency…What I’ve also said is that it is important for America to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues…And I would note that a couple of years ago I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion….Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak, and that dialogue, I think, is a part of what my campaign’s been all about, that we’re never going to agree on every single issue. What we have to do is create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable, and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans. So Rick Warren has been invited to speak, Dr. Joseph Lowery — who has deeply contrasting views to Rick Warren about a whole host of issues — is also speaking.”

Dr. Lowery, an African American minister is a major force in the civil rights movement and has been a champion of GLBT equality. While I disagree with Obama’s selection of Warren to provide a speech at his inauguration, actions speak louder than words. Obama will ultimately be judged on his policies which affect GLBT equality much more than a bigoted preacher selected to give a speech at his inauguration.

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