A Call to Action for Barack Obama

In the wake of the decision by President-elect Barack Obama to select Reverend Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, Equality California executive director Geoff Kors calls on Obama to live up to his promise of "One America" and prove he is the ardent supporter of LGBT equality he claims to be.

BY Geoff Kors

December 19 2008 1:00 AM ET

The decision by
President-elect Barack Obama to select Reverend Rick
Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration is a
profound slap in the face to LGBT Americans and all
who stand for equality.

I was one of the
many who was heartened by his call for "One America"
-- for an end to the politics of division that pitted
neighbor against neighbor that has plagued this nation for
the last eight years. I was looking forward to the
start of a new era of inclusion designed to bring us
together.

Elevating the
status of a person who actively worked to eliminate the
rights of LGBT people and supported writing discrimination
against us into the California constitution is not
inclusion.

Rather, by
starting the new administration with a blessing by someone
who denies the very humanity of LGBT people sends a
message that the new day we had hoped for is further
away than we were led to believe.

Our next
president has responded to the outcry over his selection by
saying that we are a nation of different views and he wants
all to be part of his administration. It is one thing
to bring people with opposing views to a discussion in
order to foster understanding. It is something very
different to give such prominence and stature to someone who
actively works to harm an entire community.

I find it hard to
believe that Mr. Obama would have selected someone who
opposed legal equality for any other group to give the
invocation at the inauguration. By choosing Reverend
Warren, he is indicating that opposition to legal
equality for LGBT people is an acceptable position. It
is not.

This isn't about
having different views on what the fuel economy
standards should be or the size of the bailout of the auto
or financial industry. This is about a minority group
being excluded from the equal protection guarantees of
the Constitution. If President-elect Obama doesn't
understand the difference, then we are in for a very long
and disappointing four years.

Tags: Politics

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