It turns out that President-Elect Obama has chosen Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life and the leader of a large fundamentalist church here in Southern California, may also be familiar to some of you as a major supporter of Prop. 8, the drive to take away the right for lesbians and gays to marry in California.
My letter is as follows:
I am horrified to hear that Rick Warren has been chosen to deliver the invocation at President-Elect Obama's inauguration ceremony, and urge the Obama administration to reconsider this choice.
To be frank, I'm disappointed that there will be an invocation at all—I am not a “believer”, and I'm tired of the U.S. government somehow overlooking the First Amendment's establishment cause when it comes to having religious ceremonies take place at government events.
Leaving that objection aside, as an out lesbian in a long-term committed relationship living in California, where some of my civil rights have just been taken away by a campaign of lies orchestrated and funded in part by Rick Warren and his followers, I hope you'll pass my anger and disgust about this decision on to Barack Obama. I would also like to register my extreme disappointment as a fairly significant individual financial contributor to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. I will most certainly include this choice and any changes made as a result of complaints from the LGBT community, as well as any other LGBT-related decisions coming out of President-Elect Obama's first term, as a basis for deciding whether I care to make any further donations for his second reelection campaign.
I realize that “reaching across the divide” is an important part of Barack Obama's leadership style, and I support such efforts where they will lead to increased unity and positive (progressive) results for the majority of citizens. Choosing an anti-LGBT speaker of any kind to play an important part of any major government ceremony is, however, a slap in the face to many of us who have supported President-Elect Obama with our hopes, our time, our energy, and our money.
Please address this issue now, by selecting a speaker who is supportive of or at least neutral on LGBT issues before the damage is too great.