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Pastor selected for inaugural benediction under fire for ‘rabidly anti-LGBT views’

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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The Georgia pastor selected by President Barack Obama to deliver the benediction at his second-term inauguration has come under fire for an anti-gay sermon in which he advocated for “ex-gay” therapy, and made references to biblical passages often interpreted as advocating for the execution of gays.

Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta — whose selection was announced Tuesday by the Presidential Inauguration Committee — reportedly delivered a sermon in the mid-1990s in which he preached “rabidly anti-LGBT views,” according to Think Progress.

Louie Giglio

“The 54-minute sermon, entitled ‘In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality,’ advocates for dangerous ‘ex-gay’ therapy for gay and lesbian people, references a biblical passage often interpreted to require gay people be executed, and impels Christians to ‘firmly respond to the aggressive agenda’ and prevent the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ from becoming accepted in society,” wrote Think Progress’ Josh Israel.

The Think Progress report, which includes audio of the sermon, summarizes many of Giglio’s views on homosexuality, including:

  • Christians must fight against LGBT-equality;
  • Homosexuality is a sin;
  • People aren’t born gay — but even if they are, it’s still a choice like giving into alcoholism, addiction, and overeating;
  • Gay people are going to Hell;
  • Gay people can become straight through Christianity;

During a press briefing Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to answer a question by the Washington Blade whether the White House was aware of, or had concerns regarding Giglio’s anti-gay views.

Carney said he hasn’t seen the Think Progress report and deferred comment to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

In 2009, Obama’s selection of the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the opening prayer at his first inauguration angered gay rights advocates because of Warren’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

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