The Reverend Elder Nancy Wilson at the service
Inaugural Prayer Service Includes First Out Gay Clergy Member

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com January 22 2013 5:57 PM ET

The LGBT-inclusive nature of President Obama’s inauguration festivities carried over into today’s Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., with the first participation by an openly gay clergy member.

The Reverend Elder Nancy L. Wilson, moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a largely LGBT denomination, gave the first reading of Scripture, a passage from the book of Isaiah, at this morning’s event. She was one of a diverse group of interfaith clergy to participate in the service, which was attended by President Obama and Vice President Biden.

In a blog post she wrote for the pro-LGBT interfaith group Believe Out Loud before the event, Wilson said she expected to be “exalting” at the service. “This exaltation is not for myself but for the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who have longed for a safe place to call home,” she wrote. “Whether spiritual or physical, we need safe homes.” In a statement released through GLAAD, she added, “President Obama prayerfully and respectfully stood up for LGBT equality during his campaign, and I am proud to stand with him.”

This was the 57th inaugural prayer service, and officials with the National Cathedral confirmed that Wilson was the first openly gay clergy member to participate. Video of the entire service is available at the National Cathedral’s website; it can be viewed with Microsoft Silverlight or Windows Media Player.