December 20, 2008

More Thoughts on the Warren Controversy

This is part of an e-mail response I sent to one of my Facebook friends who commented on my last post:

I do have some understanding of the pain that you and many GLBT people are feeling in the wake of Prop 8. This is where I believe the leadership of the major advocacy organizations have let the community down by fanning the flames of this issue into a major controversy rather than keeping it in what I believe is a more appropriate perspective.

I think there is one other important thing to remember here. Obama has, to my knowledge, never hinted that he favors marriage equality. By supporting civil unions, he is merely in favor of less discrimination toward GLBT people. This is still a major improvement over Bush and what McCain would have done, but it still approaches same-sex couples as less than equal members of our society. Perhaps in the euphoria of Obama’s victory some people have lost sight of that and developed what I believe could be unrealistic expectations of what an Obama administration could mean to the GLBT community. Perhaps the backlash toward Warren giving the Inaugural invocation is at least partially caused by the first hint of that realization.

Just to be clear, Warren is definitely anti-gay. Check out this video of his recent NBC Dateline interview. That doesn't mean that Obama is giving him a forum to spew that at the Inauguration. Warren will likely offer a prayer asking for God's blessing on Obama's presidency and our nation.

That's something I believe most of us can agree on.

Added: Just found this post by Bill Browning, the editor of th.e widely respected GLBT blog "The Bilerico Project" which shares my perspective and has much more discussion from readers.


  1. So it would be okay for a president-elect to choose an anti-Semite for the invocation, so long as he didn't "spew" any anti-Semitism?

    P.S. Warren is an anti-Semite. Go figure.

  2. Kip,

    I'm not saying selecting Warren is okay, I'm just suggesting that his selection to offer this pray is not as bad as many GLBT people are suggesting. I am aware of his anti-semite background, yet I don't hear much protest from pro-Jewish organizations or leaders. I think the outrage the GLBT community is showing about this issue is counterproductive. Let him give a few more interviews like the one i linked to--he'll hang himself and the energy of GLBT advocacy efforts can be more effectively directed.

  3. I'm with Jim on this one. I really could care less who Obama picks to say a prayer at the inauguration.
    Now, if he had picked him to head up some faith-based initiative or to be in some official capacity in his administration, that would mean much more to me than asking him to say a prayer.
    To me, Obama is doing what he did throughout his campaign...he's reaching out to those who probably disagree with him.