Congressman Barney Frank ‘Disappointed’ by Warren Invite

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank released a statement today in reaction to Obama’s invitation to anti-gay Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the presidential inauguration.

BfSaid Frank:

“I am very disappointed by President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to honor Reverend Rick Warren with a prominent role in his inauguration.Religious leaders obviously have every right to speak out in opposition to anti-discrimination measures, even in the degrading terms that Rev. Warren has used with regard to same-sex marriage. But that does not confer upon them the right to a place of honor in the inauguration ceremony of a president whose stated commitment to LGBT rights won him the strong support of the great majority of those who support that cause.

“It is irrelevant that Rev. Warren invited Senator Obama to address his congregation, since he extended an equal invitation to Senator McCain. Furthermore, the President-Elect has not simply invited Rev. Warren to give a speech as part of a series in which various views are presented. The selection of a member of the clergy to occupy this uniquely elevated position has always been considered a mark of respect and approval by those who are being inaugurated.”


  1. Bryan says

    Keep it coming! Obama has to know that his justification for inviting Rick Warren is obscene, illogical, and doubly offensive.

    Alright HRC, SLDN, NGLTF, and state GLBT rights groups… let’s kick this up a knotch. Let’s coordinate our frustration and teach Pres.-elect an early lesson: we are a force to be reckoned with.

    1) If you supported Obama, unsubscribe to his email alerts and tell him why.

    2) Email the following transition / inaugration folks:

    Praga Mehta

    Jamie Citron

    Dave Noble

    Brian Bond

    Ray Rivera

    Winnie Stackelberg, who is helping to manage the transition:

    3) Phone numbers… we need people’s phone numbers in the transition team. Who’s got ’em and who wants to share?

    4) Other ideas??

    LET’S DO THIS!!!

  2. John in CA says

    Kudos to Barney Frank for having the guts to state the obvious. Since nobody else in Congress would.

    I suspect that when Madame Speaker catches wind of this statement, she’ll run off to Dick Cheney’s “undisclosed location” as fast as she can. God knows nobody expects her to do anything remotely related to leading.

  3. Martha says

    Barney told it like it is —
    an exhaulted speaking engagement booking by Obama does not equal a campaign trail visit to Warren’s church.

    Obama chose this Warren fellow — of the thousands of non-offensive and non-divisive pastors he could have chosen — and he didnt even choose one from his beloved Unoted Church of Christ Chicago. why?

    a deal must have been made– but for what?

  4. Martha says

    Barney told it like it is —
    an exhaulted speaking engagement booking by Obama does not equal a campaign trail visit to Warren’s church.

    Obama chose this Warren fellow — of the thousands of non-offensive and non-divisive pastors he could have chosen — and he didnt even choose one from his beloved Unoted Church of Christ Chicago. why?

    a deal must have been made– but for what?

  5. Hank says

    Thank you Barney Frank. Please continue to be loud and proud about this. It’s a slap in the face from Obama. When we’ve been slapped so often, it’s easy to give up, minimize, or not even fully realize it’s another slap…

  6. sparks says

    I hope the Barney-haters will look past their biases and grudges long enough to realize that he’s one of the few politicians who will quickly stand up and speak out about incidents like this, while his peers are asking, “What’s the big deal?”

    Barney isn’t just one of us … he actually GETS it, and we’re fortunate to have him in Washington.

  7. says

    It feels a bit like the GLBT community was USED for the election. And then is being SOLD on the auction block. Shame shame shame. On the promotion, or bringing attention to, anyone who discriminates or promotes anything but peace and love — especially at this up and down crazy time on our globe. It’s the last thing we need.

  8. Joe H says

    An outrage. We embraced Obama because he was so clearly and refreshingly better than Bush, assuming he must be better on gay issues. But he opposes gay marriage, and otherwise has shown little progressive inclination towards gays in the two years since he started this journey. And as we see with his ties to Rev. Wright and the Warren choice, he’s close to evangelicals. It’s time for the gay community to stop blindly supporting Obama and start scrutinizing, even considering that his message of inclusion may include a pink asterisk. We see plenty of African Americans and women in his new administration but few gays. I’m still hopeful — I have to be. But today I feel used, disappointed, and a bit foolish.

  9. Jay Kay says

    I just wrote Obama and requested that he refund my $50 campaign contribution. If I bought merchandise that was miss-represented or didn’t perform as promised I’d be entitled to a refund, as far as I’m concerned, the same principle applies to him. I want my hopes, prayers and good energy back too, but I’ll settle for a check.

  10. says

    I can’t stand Barney Frank, he basically slept while our banking system went to hell along with our economy.

    Having said that, thanks Barney.

    I just got an email from Stonewall asking for an end of the year tax deductible donation because of all of the great things That One is doing!


    Another fine example of our LGBT “Leadership” at work!

    NO ONE was around to send out an email that demanded we withhold our Gay Dollars? We here in Vegas marched last week to keep our cash away from homophobes and haters and fucking Stonewall wants us to give more after we just got fucked dry!?!


  11. Patrick M says

    Bravo Barney! Yes – this is a unique ceremony, not a political round-table, and is not a day to honor someone who speaks of the gay community in such degrading terms

  12. Patrick M says

    Just sent this to all the email addresses listed above plus Steve Hildebrandt, his gay deputy campaign manager at and the press team at I had sent an email to the same group yesterday:

    > I’m even more angry today after Obama’s attempted defense of this degrading choice. Would he choose to include David Duke to balance his own presence at the inauguration? It’s more evidence that he – and you as his advisors – just don’t get it on lgbt issues – and you can’t be a “fierce” advocate for gay people until you have walked the walk. If he had done something to help gay people already, this might be somewhat tolerable – right now it’s like inviting an unrepentant child molester to an abuse survivors’ party.

    Well I have had enough abuse. It’s over. Done. I will continue to protest more and more until this despicable choice is rescinded.

  13. John in CA says

    Patrick M,

    It won’t be. It is clear they were prepared for this. The talking points and rebuttals were released almost immediately after the schedule was announced.

    Just please, please, please don’t give this asshole any more of YOUR money. Remember, he outspent his opponents 3-to-1 this time around. And garnered 53% of the vote. Without the money, he stands a good chance of losing next time. If he loves the religious right so much, then let Rick Warren fund his re-election campaign.

  14. Hank says

    Team Obama doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Donny McClurkin wasn’t a mistake . Their explanation of this one , too, feels disingenuous. I suspect that, in fact, they want to be seen, in certain quarters, to be thumbing their noses at the gays.That they feel that will shore up a certain kind of credibility with a certain kind of voter. Show that Obama is not an eastern establishment party line liberal. And they judge LGBT to be the weakest, most unpopular , most vulnerable, and therefore most disposable element of that liberal coalition. I’d say we can expect more of this.

  15. dave says

    Obama’s first major blunder and it’s glaring. What a slap in the face to the community that literally helped get him elected. Obama’s picture should be inserted next to the word BETRAYAL in the dictionary.
    By inviting Warren he sends a clear message to the country he supports Prop 8 and what it represents. To casually say “That’s what our country is, we have different views” and “that’s part of it’s magic”. Well slavery and calling blacks “niggers” was also part of that “magic” at one time. Which at one time, the majority of the country also supported. I will never understand how one minority can f*ck over another minority with such ease. Shame on you Obama, I want my vote and $100 back! Change??? Business as usual, sleazebag, say anything to get elected pollitian.

  16. Patrick says

    It’s not a blunder — he knew exactly what he was doing. You should consider yourself lucky you only donated $100. My money hole is stretched out a lot more than yours and now my blossom has wilted and died. I give him everything and all I get is a gaping hole — just like all the rest. MEN! They’re dicks. PALIN 2012! (I kid.)

  17. DJ says

    Alright Im gonna tell it like it is…

    Until I see less white gay men poppin’ their racist shit about blacks and even latinos,I dont expect the gay community as a WHOLE to get that much further in terms of civil rights,the amount of garbage Ive seen spewed on this site and other gay news blogs and social networks is unheard of.So while all of you people are whining about how we dont have this right or that right,some of you (You know who you are) are the same homos who put down other gays rather if its because of skin color or rather it just be simply because (you dont find him “HOTT” enuff for you) which that would also explain why there are so many miserable single homos out there,but I digress.Point is we need to start looking to make improvements in our own backyard before we start flyin off handle bars about what “The Others” are saying and doing.Some of you are just plain FILTHY,and the sad thing is,none of you will admit to that.

  18. Keith says

    I believe Obama is up to something. This is all part of a long-range plan.

    He is putting Rick Warren in his debt, just as he did Joe Lieberman. When it comes time to do the things on the “gay agenda”, he will be able to call Warren and say “tell your people to pipe down on this one.” Everyone should wait to see what gay-related legislation Obama gets passed (ENDA, repeal of DADT, end of DOMA) before crying into their mojitos. Heck, if Obama gets any ONE of those 3 done, he’ll have done better than Bill Clinton, who was supposedly our friend and champion.

    I remember what he said about talking to your enemies. This is an example of practicing that policy at home. He’s trying to be inclusive. It seems so obvious.

    I believe that Obama will pass ENDA by the end of his first year, DADT will be a relic by summer of 2010, and DOMA will go some time in his second term, perhaps by the end of his first. And on some or all of it he will be assisted by his new best friend, Rick Warren, either openly or quietly.

    The question our movement has to ask is, do you want your legislation passed, or do you want to get a big hug and feel loved? Too often we go for the latter, when what we really need is the former.

  19. says

    Yeah Im a little sick of the “poor us white gay guys, we supported the darkie and now they don’t love us.” Kiss my high yellow arse!

    Simple fact, WE are all in this boat together. The homo haters of the world hate the white, black, asian, latin homos all the same. Let go of that racist bullshit and fight together to get our fucking rights.

    That One being Black has nothing to do with what he did to us. What happened is what a lot of people here have said, we are expendable at this point.

    Let’s see how expendable we are during the next election period when they come to us with hats in hand. Let’s fuck the democratic party in two years, so in four they know who they are fucking with!

    And I say that as a God Damned Democratic Delegate.

  20. jason says

    I totally agree with Barney. The issue is not that Rick Warren is being invited to the Inauguration. Like any American, he is entitled to accept an invitation. The real issue, however, is that Rick has been given the prime job of delivering the invocation. This is Obama at his worst, at his pandering worst.

    I think it’s time we boycotted the ceremony.

  21. says

    I think KEITH’s description of this situation is on target. And AGAIN, Obama’s appointments to cabinet positions have been good, though so far not openly gay. Obama did NOT appoint Warren to an official government position. I too would rather Obama makes political progress through neutralizing enemies than getting us nowhere. Remember, Clinton didn’t think of DADT, it was forced on us when he miscalculated. Obama and his team are very smart and politically shrewd.

    Remember too, the queers in Chicago who know him say he does really and truly support us.

    I still give him the benefit of the doubt—as much as I’m disappointed in the Warren affair, it’s not a political appointment or a policy decision.

  22. jason says

    David R,

    I have to disagree with you. I think Obama is treating us like Pavlov’s dog and cynically using us in a game of notice-board politics. Re Pavlov’s dog, he’ll give us a carrot and then the stick. Re notice-board politics, he’ll pander to anti-gay pastors so as to show “the general community” that he’s not really for us. It’s like someone sticking up a notice on a board at our expense.

  23. Hank says

    Keith you’re dreaming… I do think Obama is a savvy politician, and I am sure he will call in his chips with Warren one day, but I wouldn’t count on him using any of those chips up on the gays…

  24. John in CA says

    Democratic operatives…

    Enough with the bald-faced lies and phony promises already. You’re messing with peoples’ lives under false pretenses. And that’s morally reprehensible. You’re just stringing us along because you want more money in 2010 and 2012.

    You don’t have the votes in Congress to repeal DADT and DOMA. You just don’t have the votes. With the demographics of this country the way it is, you’re not going to do much better than a 79 seat majority in the House. Nor will you will able to break a GOP-Dixiecrat filibuster in the Senate anytime soon.

    You’re selling a product you know you don’t have in stock.

  25. Keith says

    People told me I was “dreaming” since March 2007 when I started volunteering for Obama. They were right. But look how that turned out.

    I’ve noticed in an admittedly small sample of friends and co-workers that being gay or straight was not the determining factor in their opinions on this one. What made the most difference was whether they had been a long-term Obama supporter.

    Those who have worked on the campaign from the beginning — gay and straight — and those who came later but who did a whole lot of work in the later days, all understand this decision. We “get” Obama, we know how he works, and most of us have second-guessed him many times — myself included — only to find out he was right and we were wrong.

    Those who put in only a little in the last days (i.e. knocked on doors a day or two during GOTV) or supported other candidates (i.e. Hillary, including some who still aint over it) or who were not involved in any significant way are the ones who are now making the big fuss. They make the “perfect” the enemy of the “good.” They’d rather we all “feel good” about who’s on the stage than build coalitions with our enemies, coalitions which might get some, if not all, of our goals accomplished.

    I’d be willing to bet that the posters of comments here fall into these two groupings in the same way.

    Ironically, they are helping in their own way. The greater the outcry against Warren, the more sympathetic his folks are likely to be toward Obama. They will see that he is standing up for his principles of including everyone, including those he may not like. That will lead them to be more cooperative in the long run.

    So, keep up the outcry. It’s all helpful.

    p.s. I don’t think Obama is perfect. I disagree with his reversal on FISA and drilling, to name two. Those I do not understand. But on this one, I get it.

  26. says

    keith, sorry but you make it sound like those of us who came to the O party (esp from Hillary) are sorta dumbasses who don’t get it and are still bitter. You come off a tad smug. I am sure that’s not how you mean to sound which is why I am bringing it up.

    I hope you’re right but it sounds like you’re excusing O for being a typical politician (or a brilliant one) when he said he wasn’t like that.

    But again, I hope you’re right because if you’re wrong it’s going to be a lot harder for you to deal with than some us who only got the last drops of the Kool Aid.

  27. Patrick M says

    Keith, you sound completely pompous here. Who are you to judge people from on high? Not sure if you “get it” as much as you think, but rather that you have no clue what a horrible decision this is and are denying the impact of this choice.

    Not that it matters, but I was a huge supporter of Obama from the very start and big volunteer – I didn’t come from anywhere or anyone else. He was my guy. Which makes this so much more painful for me. I am fed up, just completely fed up, of politicians who don’t get it. And I hadn’t thought he was one of them. Until now. And it’s over. Enough.

    You say he has a plan to help lgbts. Really? How come it isn’t out there? Is he just waiting until he’s buttered the evalengicals up enough, allowed them to spew their disgusting rhetoric for the next two years, and will then waft it under their noses, and they suddenly change their minds and agree they have been wrong all along? Or is this disgusting choice a harbinger of more cynical treatment as lgbts continue to be cast aside and treated as the untouchables we have been in this country for the last decade?

    I have a dream, and that is that Obama will take a principled stand here and support the basic human rights that are common to all of us? That is the least, the very minimum, the gay community deserves after the abuse of centuries that is unrelenting. It’s already late and it is past the time to start. I’m done with waiting. The time to change is now.

  28. steve says

    Um, I’ve seen this “Rev Wright is an evangelical” meme too much.

    It needs to stop. UCC is a liberal church that allows same-sex marriage. Rev. Wright supports marriage for gays and lesbians.

    Rev Wright is not a evangelical in the modern AP style guide sense of the term. (An argument could be made that he’s evangelical in an older sense of the term, but that same argument would apply to an awful lot of religions)

  29. Frederick Carter says

    I agree with Barney Frank, and I thank him for telling it like it is. However, something else which really needs to be publicized in this situation is that in Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life”, Warren claims that only born-again Christians will go to Heaven. Where does that leave Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, etc;? Maybe if this fact is publicized, Obama’s choice of Warren to do the invocation at his inauguration won’t be percieved as a slap in the L.G.B.T. community’s face alone…

  30. Keith says

    Not meaning to sound pompous or smug, but I realize that it can come off that way when I express confidence that O knows what he’s doing. I was simply observing a fact — that of the (remember, small sample size) of people that I talked to, ALL of the former Hillary supporters were on the “Barack made a bad move” side. most extreme example: I was at a b-day party and mentioned that I knew the b-day boy via working on the Obama campaign together, to which one of the Hillary-ites huffed “He’ll be a bad President”, got his coat, and promptly left the party. I hadn’t said a bad word about Hillary, but this guy was *still* bitter.

    Patrick M-
    The plan IS out there. Go to The very first item on the agenda (because it’s alphabetical) is “civil rights” and guess what’s the first item on that list? hey, it’s us. and i quote:

    # Combat Employment Discrimination: Obama and Biden will work to overturn the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that curtails racial minorities’ and women’s ability to challenge pay discrimination. They will also pass the Fair Pay Act, to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

    # Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: Obama and Biden will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation, expand hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act, and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section.

    And that’s not even in an “LGBT” section. That’s the first thing, period. Following the “general” list of civil rights stuff are LGBT-specific items. Here are a few:

    Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. (my comment: this is as much as he can politically get away with for now. It felt good to have Kucinich support full marriage, but he could do that because he knew he was never going to be the nominee. See my earlier comment about the movement wanting hugs more than legislation)

    He also wants to:
    Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell
    Expand Adoption Rights

    There’s more which you can read here:

    We are on his agenda, and this Rick Warren thing is all part of the plan.

  31. Tintin Malfoy says

    Obama hasn’t even taken his oath yet and already he has thrown the LGBT community under the bus, thanks buddy. Regarding racism and sexism within the gay community, I agree it’s there. I’m a white male and I admit I’m racist. How could I not be, growing up in this society? I recognize this about myself and try not to act on it.

  32. JT says

    Mr. Obama is doing exactly what any politician would do. He’s “moderating” himself. I just don’t think he gives anything even remotely like a shit for the gay community. His whole “I’m for equality for gays, but I’m opposed to them marrying” crap demonstrates his disregard for us. Evil is just plain evil. Exclusion from a civil right is evil (even though I don’t feel much of a need to get legally hitched). “Rev.” Warren is evil. Mr. Obama has made his choice to associate and pander to evil. Next he’ll issue a preemptive pardon to everyone in the Bush administration, just in case anyone has the balls to try them for criminal activities.

  33. tofer david says

    the gay media, this site included, didn’t report honestly on Obama. Obama’s views on gay marriage and equity have always been what they are. While several of Pastor Warren’s views are in disagreement with Obama’s many other are not, particularly when it comes to us.

  34. jim says

    we have been disrespected….lets send a flying shoe or two obama’s way. throw them electronically. where are all the creative types? about a video of warren and barack ducking thousands of shoes (high heels?) thrown from us at them…

  35. Hank says

    The net effect of this so far is that Warren has gotten on national TV, as the pastor for the inauguration, spewing ignorance and insidious hate at gay people, with Obama’s implicit endorsement that this is somehow part of the national conversation we should be having about teh gay. I would like to see Obama use some equally high-profile national airtime explaining exactly what, in his view , is wrong with Warren’s statements , and where he differs. Otherwise he’s really losing me here…

    Obama has the bully pulpit, and how he uses it is the single biggest thing he can do to impact the real lives of gay people, for better or worse.

  36. Hank again says

    But doubtless Obama won’t do that , and by his silence , he will implicitly endorse the characterization, in the national TV discussion, of the gays who object , as being uncivil or intolerant..

  37. anon says

    Frank is helping himself here by trying to change the tune from how he helped rip off the American taxpayer. Too bad Patrick Fitzgerald doesn’t work out of Boston.

  38. steven says

    Obama has never supported gays and still doesn’t. Why gays ever supported him is unclear to me. The only thing i’ve ever heard him say about gays is that he would prefer us to be seperate but equal. That is not support.

  39. RB says

    Step 1: Sit for 20 years listening to the hate spewing Rev. Wright.

    Step 2: Table discussion on DADT until 2010, mid-term election year death nail.

    Step 3: Have Rev. Warren deliver the invocation at this ground breaking inauguration.

    Where is my change? On the backs of the LGBT community. I hope we get the change that so many THINK that we will get…

  40. SFshawn says

    Since Obama has decided to become the bitch boy for the religious reich I guess we’ll be in for many,many more disappointments with his administration and it hasn’t even started! If Obama thinks GLBT taxpayers are going to step and fetch to his bullshit lies and deception then he’s going to have a more difficult time then he expects running this country. Thanks Obama for giving Warren a platform so that his “followers” can kill,murder,harrass,intimidate,discriminate and keep gays “in their place”-(2nd class citizenship)all under the name of god and love. The Audacity of Hope couldn’t be more ironic.

  41. RB says

    “Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. (my comment: this is as much as he can politically get away with for now”…Keith, are you serious?

    Obama opposes same sex marriage completely, thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, believes it is in opposition to his Christian beliefs and says that he believes in civil unions to get our vote!

    I do not believe that he will be the president that so many here believe that he will. I see him as the absolute best politician! He outslimed the Clintons and covinced 70% of the LGBT community that we were important.

    But then again we have seen that before. Most Western European leaders initially thought that Hitler was ok too. Bring on the bitter comments, bring on the hate but I told you during the election and I am telling you now that we do NOT have a friend in the whitehouse!!!! Not now, not on 1/20/09!

  42. N Waff says

    It’s good to see that Barney Franks follows his homosexual agenda of “inclusion” and doesn’t discriminate against people of other beliefs. I’d hate to see Franks declare the choice of pastor Rick Warren as a mistake for praying in the inauguration just because he holds a Christian Biblical world view. Oops, scratch that – Franks if being a hypocrite.

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