December 27, 2008

What Does The Other Guy Think

At many formal occasions, there are both an invocation at the beginning and the benediction at the end. In regards to Barack Obama's Inauguration, all the attention has been focused on Rick Warren, who is giving the invocation. Perhaps we should be paying more attention to who is giving the benediction, Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who supports most civil rights for GLBT people. From the Washington Blade:

Lowery, 87, a founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was the first to mention Coretta Scott King’s support for gay civil rights at her funeral in February 2006 at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, reminding the audience that she "frowned on homophobia."

Lowery supports rights for gay couples, but stops short of calling for same-sex marriage.

"I support civil rights for all citizens and this includes gay and lesbians citizens. I support civil unions and full benefits (visitation, insurance, etc) for partners in same sex relationships," he said in a written statement to Southern Voice. "Because of the deep seeded roots concerning marriage — in our hearts and minds — for a man and woman, many people, including me, have concerns about the concept/term 'marriage' and experience a degree of cultural shock when faced with same-sex partners. Nevertheless, I am strongly opposed to propositions or amendments that put into law any discrimination against citizens because of sexual orientation."

This is the same kind of forthright response that would have saved Rick Warren some trouble. Instead of trying to nuance his way through, Rev. Lowery was clear that he still had a problem with same-sex couples using the term "marriage." Unfortunate but understandable. More importantly, he is strongly opposed to placing any additional barriers in front of same-sex couples and wants all GLBT people to have a wide, if not entirely complete, range of civil rights.

Perhaps it is worth focusing on the positive presence and participation of someone like Rev. Lowery and releasing some of the frustration regarding Rick Warren's.

Click here to read the rest of the Washington Blade article.

Here is more on Rev. Lowery in the Washington Post "On Faith" section article "Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Anti-Warren."

1 comment:

  1. No. Rev. Joseph Lowery's participation at the ceremony does not offset the damage the president-elect did by bestowing upon Reverend Rick Warren the honor of delivering the invocation. As liberal columnist Frank Rich noted in The New York Times today, linking our relationships to a sexual crime like pedophilia is an "act of defamation" or vilification.

    When they are released from prison, pedophiles they are burdened with housing restrictions (for good reason I would add). Laws require them to notify the local police department whenever they move. Sometimes their neighbors are notified. Communities bar them from moving into homes x feet away from schools (again for good reason).

    Whether Rick Warren believes we are "living in sin" or not, he has no right to bear false testimony against his neighbors by equating what we do, which is partaken in by consenting adults, with what the pedophile does to his victim.