So far Barack Obama has been pretty smart in making choices for his cabinet and his inaugural festivities. A rare misstep, the choice of Pastor Rick Warren for his Inaugural, is a serious one; and it should put the GLBTQ community on alert about whether or not Obama really has our back.
For the uninformed, Rick Warren was before the election, and continues to be now, a serious opponent of GLBTQ civil rights. He was extremely anti-gay in his sermons and statements related to the California Prop 8 measure, and has continued to purposefully blur the line in his statements about Prop 8. He even went as far as to express concern that the State of California would restrict his ability to speak out in the pulpit against gay rights, even though there never has been a measure that has even addressed the issue -- sticking strictly to the issuance of marriage licenses alone.
Barack Obama, in choosing the political route by inviting Warren to participate in his inaugural festivities, is delivering a serious "I don't give a crap about you" to the GLBTQ community that backed his message of change. He is basically forsaking the Change mantra by co-opting the religious moral Right crowd, in a shrewd attempt to disarm them. The problem is, now that he has done this, an entire political block that was squarely in his corner during the election will no longer trust him to represent them going forward. In effect, he has put out the signal that discrimination against the GLBTQ community, and lies by those who continue to espouse the anti-gay rhetoric of the Right, are okay and should be allowed in his administration.
Well, I'm sorry Mr. Obama. You are wrong on this one. Choosing anti-gay Rick Warren is like throwing a cocktail in the face of every member of the GLBTQ Army that you so delicately recruited to join your cause during the election. You have just made it incredibly harder for us to call for fairness, simply by validating the Right's biggest wolf-in-sheep's-clothing. Sure, you've disarmed many of the people who thought you were too liberal to begin with, and therefore by picking Warren to give your invocation you have given them less ammo to throw at you. You have to admit, though, sir, that you did this for politically expedient reasons, and really didn't consider the need to help guarantee basic equal rights and the core message that it means for all people by being principled in your choices.
No, Mr. Obama, you have sent a shiver up the spine of every GLBTQ American who believed that you might actually be the voice and actor of real change. What you have proven with this choice, is that unifying hateful people into your tent is more important than protecting those of us who helped put up that tent in the first place. You've hurt more than our feelings, sir. You've kicked us when we were down by supporting the enemy. The GLBTQ Army is becoming more militant, and we won't forget this shot to the gut.
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