Gene Robinson's Exclusion from Lincoln Memorial Broadcast
Monday, January 19, 2009
Guest blogger: Michael K. Lavers
Activists, commentators and others have flooded my inbox with messages of disappointment and downright outrage over the decision not to broadcast openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson’s opening prayer at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday afternoon. HBO has indicated to a number of sources the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the ultimate decision to exclude the invocation, but this extremely unfortunate choice does precious little to ease concerns within LGBT and other progressive circles over Obama’s decision to ask the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation.
As a native Granite Stater who came out after my freshman year at the University of New Hampshire, Robinson’s grace, humility and openness remain a source of inspiration and pride. His message of inclusion and outreach to those he routinely describes as those at the margins compliment Obama’s hopeful and optimistic tone. Warren’s homophobic statements and support of Proposition 8 directly counter those messages. And the decision, whether it came from HBO or the Obama transition team, to exclude Robinson’s prayer from the broadcast is a highly unfortunate opportunity to assure those who remain cynical or doubtful the incoming administration will include them in its vision for the country.