Anti-Gay Pastor Drops Out Of Obama Inauguration
Rev. Louie Giglio, a Georgia-based pastor scheduled to deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama‘s second inauguration, has withdrawn following the discovery of controversial remarks he once made about homosexuality.
ThinkProgress first found the mid-90′s sermon, entitled “In Search of a Standard Christian Response To Homosexuality.” In it, the pastor urges a fierce fight against the “powerful and aggressive” movement to make homosexuality accepted; and argues that homosexuality is a choice, not a genetic predilection, that can be overcome with Christian conversion therapy.
A spokesperson for the inaugural committee stated that they “were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments” when he was selected, and wanted to choose a new speaker whose “beliefs reflect [the] administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”
Pastor Giglio issued a statement, saying he did not want to be a distraction, but pointing out that addressing homosexuality has not been in his “priorities in the last fifteen years.”
While I’m glad the administration is making a statement for diversity and acceptance, I’m a little confused about why the pastor’s comments come as such a shock. They certainly express common sentiments within the Evangelical community. And the pastor who delivered the benediction at Obama’s first inauguration, Rev. Rick Warren, faced similar criticism, but did not withdraw.
Regardless, gay right’s advocates are seeing this as a victory. “Participants in the Inaugural festivities should unite rather than divide,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
What do you think?
[via NBC News]