Digital News Report- New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson will be offering a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural event for President-elect Barack Obama this Sunday. Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopalian Bishop, was selected after weeks of criticism over the selection of Reverend Rick Warren, who has been an outspoken supporter of California’s ban on gay marriage, to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration.
According to Politico.com, an inaugural official has stated that, “the president-elect has respect for the Rt. Rev. Robinson, who offered his advice and counsel over the past couple of years. It also has the benefit of further reinforcing our commitment to an open and inclusive inaugural.” Sources have also stated that Robinson was being considered long before the selection of Rick Warren.
Warren has made several controversial remarks about gays and lesbians, including comparing homosexuality to incest, polygamy, and pedophilia. Robinson has stated that he felt Warren’s selection was a “slap in the face” to the gay community and many gay rights organization spoke out on the issue.
Robinson has said that it is “an enormous honor to offer prayers for the country and the new president.” He has stated that he won’t read from the bible as the prayer is meant for the whole nation. Warren will be giving a Christian based invocation at the inauguration.
Robinson became an Episcopalian Bishop in 2003, which caused a major split in the church. Robinson has two daughters and two granddaughters. He and his long time partner were united in a civil union last summer.