Monday, January 12, 2009

Rick Warren Antidote? "Partnered" Gay Bishop Gets Last-Minute Addition to Program

The Inauguration Committee has announced that Reverend V. Gene Robinson, a gay Episcopal Bishop, will deliver the invocation at a "kick-off" inauguration event scheduled for Sunday. The announcement comes after Obama received a barrage of criticism for choosing Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his swearing-in ceremony. Warren has equated abortion with the Holocaust, and he treats as moral equivalents same-sex marriage, incest, pedophilia and polygamy.

What Does Dissenting Justice Think: Well, the move certainly earns style points in the "paying attention" and "let's kiss and make up" categories. It is quite commendable, and it certainly sounds better than the initial response by Obama, who instructed his critics to stop acting "disagreeable."

But it loses some substance points because it reduces GLBT issues to a simplistic equation: 1 Heterosexist Reverend + 1 Openly Gay Bishop = 0. It comes from the same logic that Warren employed to defend his controversial statements by revealing that he has "gay friends" (who apparently include Melissa Etheridge) and by discussing his work to prevent AIDS in Africa -- even though the overwhelming majority of cases of HIV transmission in Africa result from heterosexual sex.

I'm not going to fuss over this (anymore). Even HRC, the author of an open letter condemning Warren's presence, praises the decision. Perhaps the largest GLBT rights organization even had a hand in negotiating the outcome. A "source close to the transition team" (I'm getting tired of the cloak and dagger routines), however, denies any connection between Robinson's presence and the flap over Warren. Maybe it really is a coincidence that the announcement comes just days before the event will take place. Regardless, I have decided to save my battles for policy -- where someone will inevitably lose. I have said enough about Warren already.

PS: If you thought you had already reached your Lincoln peak -- the event will take place at the Lincoln Memorial.

Related Readings on Dissenting Justice:

Sorry, Adam and Steve: If You Get Married, We Must Allow the Smith Triplets to Wed Each Other As Well!

Rick Warren versus Don Imus: Obama's Inconsistent Positions

The Fallacy of Obama's "Diversity" Defense: Rick Warren's Views Already Have a Place at the Table

Embracing Uncle Good-But-Homophobic: Why "Reaching Across the Aisle" to Rick Warren Does Not Feel Safe to Everyone

New Obama Drama: GLBT Groups Upset That Rev. Rick Warren Speaking at Inauguration

Reactions to Reverend Rick Warren from My Blogger Buddies

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