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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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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27 more reader comments:

  1. Why have a pastor or any religious leader speak at all? Its a tradition we don’t need and more so when the person asked to speak is such a bigot

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:15pm
  2. so he has selected an openly gay poet to read his poem on inauguration day and an anti-gay pastor to inauguration benediction???….WTF?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:16pm
  3. leave the damned religous freaks out of politics

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:17pm
  4. Since Obama is for gay rights, why would this pastor be chosen?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:17pm
  5. doesn’t bother me, we know where Obama stands on gay marriage, and his support of the LGBT community. He’s already chosen an openly gay poet for the inauguration. Like He has said he is the President of ALL Americans, not just gay, or Democrats, etc.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:18pm
  6. They NEED, to RETHINK THIS CHOICE!!! He needs, to go away!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:20pm
  7. WTF … Somebody goofed; uninvite him… I am offended by his participation, should the
    Grand wizard of kkk be invited to speak? Or how about the neo nazi’s white supremacists ??? Crazy!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:22pm
  8. WTF!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:23pm
  9. The real question is, has he changed his views? those comments were made nearly 2 decades ago… if he HAS truly changed, then ok.. if not get rid of the douchebag.. ( But, I still think they need to drop the religious bulls hit all together)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:23pm
  10. Why do they need a sectarian benediction anyway? If I were an elected official, I’d cancel the benediction, even if it meant setting off all the Theocrats in the KS-TX-FL-VA rectangle! They think we’re a nation designed solely on God, but we’re a nation of all religious faiths and lacks thereof!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:30pm
  11. This man was chosen because of his campaign to end slavery and human trafficking around the world; this doesn’t discount his hateful teachings and his bigotry but I think that’s what the President saw when he chose this pastor. I don’t think that the president is making an anti-gay statement; I think he’a trying to appease certain Americans because he’s the president of all Americans.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:30pm
  12. Here we go again. Shit.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:45pm
  13. It’s called inclusiveness. Even though we might disagree, everyone has a voice. I appreciate our President’s choice to include this pastor. He is also having an openly gay poet read. All should be welcome at the table. We have more of a chance of changing hearts with honey rather than hatred.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:06pm
  14. How insulting and frankly hypocritical. I have never fully loved Obama, saw him as the latest of multiple evils. Shit like this is why.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:13pm
  15. Lesser not latest ugh

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:14pm
  16. Apparently, with him, you’re born an asshole bigot and there’s no therapy cure for that.

    I am a fan of “freedom of speech” but this is outright rude. He needs to shut the fuck up.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:20pm
  17. By choosing this speaker the President allows hate speech to flow. He allows people who should not be representing this nation (bigotry and hate are NOT American values) to speak out.

    Bigotry should not be allowed. It needs to be rejected so people understand that it is not acceptable.

    By allowing this man to speak, Obama is allowing hate speech to reign.

    It needs to be stopped.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:25pm
  18. How can we ask for inclusiveness and then bitch when we get it…. inclusive means EVERYBODY, those I like AND those who don’t like me!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:40pm
  19. Can anyone please answer why Obama would do this, and why this pastor would want to bless the first President to support same sex marriage?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:26pm
  20. A lot of intollerant hate mongering gays on this page.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:11am
  21. Obama is trying to be liked by all, a woman, a black, a gay, a religious bigot. Your point?

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:24am
  22. So those who are going on about how he needs to be inclusive, why not have a known KKK member give the benediction? Can’t shun them, either! This was a foolish choice on the President’s part, much like Rick Warren in ’09.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 1:20am
  23. Don’t take this thing over the top. Would I rather see someone like Bishop Talbert (retired Bishop in the United Methodist church) deliver the benediction? Hell yes – he has proved himself to be a great ally and has stood up in favor of marriage equality. But it is, what it is -he’ll deliver a benediction that lasts no longer than 3 minutes and then he will be yesterday’s news 3 minutes after. I had long ago forgotten about Rick Warren being part of the 2009 inauguration until it was mentioned here – I hardly think that benediction will be one of the more talked about parts of the inauguration ceremony. People talked more about Aretha’s hat than they did Rick Warren. I consider the whole thing as non-issue.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 5:09am
  24. Obama doesn’t support gay marriage. If he did it would be legal across the board. Think with your heads not your genitals.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:33am
  25. Mike, he does support gay marriage but he can’t make it accepted nationally alone. He would need congress to approve it also.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:55am
  26. The preacher withdrew from the event.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 1:42pm
  27. BYE-BYE DOUCHE!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:51pm