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WeHo Inauguration
Day Central: The Abbey

WeHo Inauguration
Day Central: The Abbey


WeHo hot spot the Abbey drew the crowds beginning at 7 a.m., drawing cheers for Barack Obama and boos for conservative pastor Rick Warren.

As crowds flooded the streets of Washington, D.C., to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office and become president of the United States, West Hollywood hot spot the Abbey packed in the people to watch on its handful of flat-screen TV's.

The most popular gay bar on the West Coast played host to a number of fund-raisers for the Democratic Party throughout the campaign season -- most notably, Hillary Clinton held a fund-raiser at the Abbey following her participation in the Human Rights Campaign's LGBT Presidential Forum.

But on Inauguration Day, attentions turned to Obama -- a crowd of 100-plus people gathered beginning at 7 a.m. PST -- some clutching coffee cups, others opting for something stronger - to watch history being made.

The mostly gay crowd was packed with Obama supporters, but on the heels of the announcement that conservative pastor Rick Warren would be delivering the invocation -- particularly damning considering his vocal support for passing California's Prop. 8 -- the general sentiment seemed to be one of joy for the end of "the Bush years" rather than anticipation for the next four years.

Predictably, when Warren took to the podium to deliver his prayer -- "We are Americans - united not by race or religion or blood, but by our commitment to freedom and justice for all," a sampling of his words -- people booed, hissed, and, in some cases, left the room. While Obama explained the selection of Warren as making good on a promise to reach across the aisle, LGBT people felt thrown under the bus.

Singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee," Aretha Franklin generated more interest, and former first ladies and the incoming one prompted fashion commentary and whispers. And as Obama made his way to the podium to make his first speech as president, there were sighs of relief, cheers, and hope that the 44th president of the United States will make good on his promises to the LGBT community.

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