Barack Obama | Inauguration | Joseph Lowery | News | Rick Warren

Obama's Other Inauguration Pastor Not for Gay Marriage, but Condemns Rick Warren Remarks


Rev. Joseph Lowery, the pastor giving the benediction (the other religious component) at Obama's inauguration, is not for same-sex marriage either, though he does condemn Rick Warren's equation of gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia.

Says Lowery to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

"I've never said I support gay marriage. I support gay rights and I support civil unions. Like a whole lot of people, I have some difficulty with the term gay marriage. Because deep in my heart, deeply rooted in my heart and mind, marriage is associated with man and woman. So I have a little cultural shock with that. But I certainly support civil unions, and that gay partners ought to have all the rights that any other citizens have in this country.

"I think [Warrens equation of gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia is] wrong. I condemn it. I take all kinds of sharp and robust differences with that kind of denigration. But even so, I will not refuse to be on a program with him because we have these differences. That's what the president-elect proposes to do. Bring people together with different views and hopefully out of these discussions and out of association we can find common ground to serve common good."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. And thus it's pretty much clear cut now, isn't it? It isn't a simple "for or against us" thing, it's that someone like Rev. Lowery can adopt a civil tone and have his words match the tone and Mr. Warren will speak in hushed toneds but spew venom.

    All of which makes Warren the perfect choice for Obama - whether they agree on issues or not, they share the trait of talking out of both sides of their mouth. I'm not surprised, but yet still slightly disappointed.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 24, 2008 11:49:31 AM

  2. While we're being distracted by this pastor nonsense, there's news from Capitol Hill that the congressional leadership has quietly told HRC that they won't tackle DADT until after 2010 midterm elections.

    So, those lemmings who mocked critics of the new regime for saying it'll take two long years to repeal DADT are technically "correct." It is going to take more than two years.

    Merry Christmas from the Democratic Party, suckers!

    Posted by: John in CA | Dec 24, 2008 12:04:44 PM

  3. Gee, way to be inclusive, Obama.

    I hope to see at least one person on that stage that supports gay marriage.

    Posted by: Eric | Dec 24, 2008 12:07:08 PM

  4. I don't care about the inauguration now. Merry Christmas.

    Posted by: freddy | Dec 24, 2008 12:08:08 PM

  5. and so it goes, same as it ever was. obama is not bringing change. he is bringing the same old same old. he is reportedly taking his oath on the same bible that lincoln did. no other president elect has done so.

    talk about gall, talk about hubris. this man has no shame. i fear that we are on the ride of our lives. first over-board -- gays, then leftists, then what? hillary would not have approved of such nonsense if she were president, i think. but that ship has sailed. i hope that i will not have to grit my teeth through his short-lived presidency. i am sick of speechifying, i am sick of high-flown phrases. this man is full of it. governance belongs to the wonkish liberals. hillary 2012!

    Posted by: nic | Dec 24, 2008 12:08:15 PM

  6. So comforting to continue to get this Separate But Equal crap from folks who really should know better.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Dec 24, 2008 12:15:32 PM

  7. Are we really suppose to believe that the Dem controlled Congress is going to tackle DADT during the 2010 midterms?

    Posted by: Matthew | Dec 24, 2008 12:18:09 PM

  8. c'mon now, there are also many gays who don't support gay marriage...straights are not the only ones...the march for marriage equality, (equality being one of the greatest urban myths ever BTW), should continue on for those so inclined but it's not something that all people will ever agree with that and move on...

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Dec 24, 2008 12:30:42 PM

  9. Are we supposed to believe that any Congress will EVER tackle DADT EVER under any circumstances whatsoever?

    Posted by: Roscoe | Dec 24, 2008 12:32:36 PM

  10. Matthew,

    Obamabots have been saying DADT would be repealed "very soon" after the Dear Leader takes office. Presumably, they meant some time in 2009. But since Queen Pelosi has ruled out bringing such legislation to the floor next year, Obamabots are now claiming it'll definitely happen in 2010.

    Unfortunately for them, Barney Frank has reportedly told HRC it won't happen until "after the war" (which is also after the election). So, as usual, the Obamabots are full of prophetic nonsense. At this point, I'd say they have the predictive acumen of Pat Robertson. You're better off with the Magic 8-Ball...

    Posted by: John in CA | Dec 24, 2008 12:45:22 PM

  11. "hillary would not have approved of such nonsense if she were president."

    Hillary does not support gay marriage either! What is it with some of you gays, projecting your diva/mommy fantasies on Hillary Clinton when she an Obama have the exact same political positions on gay marraige.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 24, 2008 12:47:20 PM

  12. Question: Why not bring back Jesse Jackson's rainbow coalition, albeit with a slight twist, to the inauguration? It could be incredibly inclusive and representative of all Americans differing point of views. We could have MTV produce it in a celebrity death match style. Kind of like during the heydays of the gladiators.

    I nominate Andrew Sullivan, Mike Savage, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Louis Farrakhan, Jerry Fallwell, Laura Schlessinger, (insert others here)...

    After all, isn't this what America should stand for. Intolerance & Diversity!

    Posted by: Ed | Dec 24, 2008 12:53:49 PM

  13. So Obama will be bringing together a whole spectrum of views by inviting a minister who considers homosexuality a crime against nature and another whose stance is "deep in my heart, deeply rooted in my heart and mind, marriage is associated with man and woman" ?

    I suppose it would have been 'too polarizing' to choose an actually gay minister or one supportive of full equality, then ?

    Pah ; shouldn't be so bitter all the way in the UK - it would really help though if the Obama camp could just start gagging their compatriots, if they have nothing whole-heartedly heartening to say.

    N.B. Joseph Lowery doesn't seem a bad sort at all though, just disappointed that after acknowledging gay marriage opposition as "a little cultural shock" he seems to shrug his shoulders - culture shock leading to cultural change is fine, while culture shock leading to institutionalizing inequality is not.

    Posted by: PM | Dec 24, 2008 12:56:50 PM

  14. And what is the deal with gays and lesbians pretending to feel betrayed that Obama does not support gay marriage? He said so himself, repeatedly. So did Hillary, and every major plausible candidate for the Presidency in the past several elections. It's NOT going to happen soon. Now we have these screaming mimis comparing the gay marriage ban to segregation and the Holocaust, who claim to speak for all of us, and threatening to throw any progress we can make by pushing for domestic partnership legislation away like the proverbial baby in the bathwater.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 24, 2008 1:00:10 PM

  15. hey, stupid, er, MICHAEL,

    i hope that i will not have to explain it to you again. even if hillary and obama do not have a difference with gay policy, hillary would not have selected a pointedly controversial figure to invoke a bigoted god into politics. this selection was nothing more than an insensitive ploy to strip young wavering evangelicals from the mother ship of bigotry. and for this bare-faced gamble to win new voters obama was willing to offer up gay bodies to the altar of self-glorification? excuse me, i will surrender much in the fight for equality, but my dignity is inviolate. one would have to drag me kicking and screaming to the political abyss (which barack has termed "compromise" or "agreeing to disagree w/o being disagreeable"). fuck that! i am agreeing to be very disagreeable when it pertains to my second-class standing in this country that i helped build. this country owes me and others like me big time. once in awhile there is a rosa parks moment. and this is it. pity that our president elect doesn't see it.

    Posted by: nic | Dec 24, 2008 1:31:52 PM

  16. Such drama queens. Damn. "[S]econd class standing"? Fag, please.

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 24, 2008 1:43:16 PM

  17. NICK,

    y u wanna fuck wid me? didn't we agree at least once? bring it beeatch? fag? o yes i am! but you're a girl. fu.

    Posted by: nic | Dec 24, 2008 2:13:27 PM

  18. To everyone who says that we should just rollover because none of the presidential candidates were for gay marriage, you have got to be kidding me.

    We will never achieve our rights if we don't demand them. They will never just give them to us for "behaving." If we don't make noise, they'll take us for granted and do whatever they want.

    Posted by: Eric | Dec 24, 2008 2:32:42 PM

  19. And we will never get anything if we act shrill over the least bit of news not coming in our favor.

    I agree with Michael. We have to not get so caught up that we forget our bearings.

    Posted by: a. mcewen | Dec 24, 2008 2:52:58 PM

  20. So I'm guess you all think that John McCain and the Republican Party would have been stronger allies and proponents of Gay Rights? If so, think again.

    This all or nothing approach that some or taking is self destructive to advancing the cause of Gay Rights at all. Whatever happen to incremental progress?

    Posted by: seanndc | Dec 24, 2008 3:17:27 PM

  21. Well, I stand corrected. I had heard Rev. Lowery had a progressive record on GLBT rights but I guess not all that progressive. Hmmm. The emotional "yuk" that is "culture shock" is not a high enough standard to deny a whole class of people the legal means for the pursuit of their own happiness. Ridiculous. I'm over it. I'm very satisfied with most of Obama's work so far, but I'm not sure I want to watch the Inauguration. *Sigh*

    Posted by: Clint | Dec 24, 2008 3:40:44 PM

  22. ..don't waste time stating what hillary would or would not have done since there is no way of knowing how things would have happened, I don't see her turning down the cabinet position she's been offered over this, do you? ...but one thing is more than likely to have been certain, she too would not made a pick that some group would have been pissed about for one thing or another...disappointment? yes...anger? you betcha! perspective? come on, please...

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Dec 24, 2008 4:11:39 PM

  23. Liberty and Justice for ALL.
    Why is this such a difficult concept?
    It is sad and frustrating that Obama has such obvious disregard and disrespect for gays(as fellow humans)that he would use his power to allow someone who equates us(and our love) with animals and children to take center stage at this historic event. I guess the billions of dollars the religious demographic could contribute to his 2012 campaign outweighed his "fierce" commitment to GLBT rights and all the hard work/$$$ GLBT folks put into getting him elected. I hope him and his family are enjoying their sunny vacation in Hawaii while OUT OF THE CLOSET Lesbians are gang raped in Oakland and OPENLY gay men are being killed,harrassed and verbally abused DAILY and even those perceived as gay(Brothers in NYC)are beaten with a baseball bat until he was dead. Years ago I went to the Holocaust museum in Los Angeles and saw how Germans made cartoons of Jews with big noses and animal bodies attempting to dehumanize them so that while they murdered millions they wouldn't feel any accountability for killing innocent people.
    Thank you Obama and your transition team for making the United States a much more unsafe place to be OPENLY GAY and just keep pretending that by supporting and encouraging hate language,unjust laws,separate but equal(civil unions)that you are not literally killing your fellow Americans-if not our bodies,certainly our souls and our hope for a better world.

    "It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people their freedom." -Harvey Milk

    Posted by: SFshawn | Dec 24, 2008 4:19:25 PM

  24. Are people really questioning Reverend Joseph Lowery's documented commitment to GLBT equality, even though he has articulately outlined his internal conflict about it? Perhaps it would be a good time to revisit the words of another pastor: "I may not get to the promised land with you, but I want you to know... that we as a people will."

    We all struggle over our own narrow viewpoints of the world versus what is right, from which no person is immune. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of a physical limitation to his seeing a truly equitable society, but it can also be understood as a psychological/societal limitation as well. I'd rather have Reverend Lowery speak upon these issues as a person who is struggling with what he was brought up with, knowing that faith compels him to be a witness to the oppressed -- irrespective of the nature of their second-class status -- than a cleric who perceives himself as the static vessel for humanity's worst theological abuses of power.

    Quite frankly, he has said more about his thinking on the matter from the heart than Obama has done, without resorting to the even more offensive after thought, "but I have gay friends" -- and for that he should be congratulated and warmly engaged in conversation in my book.

    Be pissed at Obama's choice of Rick Warren, fine -- but don't denigrate the fact that this man has traveled far from what he was taught or what he knew was safe. Reverend Lowery is not a politician; he is simply a man who has dedicated himself to serving his God in a society that has historically chosen to pick and choose what Biblical edicts to follow, and has asked his nation to pay attention to the most important lessons Christianity has to offer, even if he can only advise on certain topics imperfectly as humans are apt.

    Posted by: Foochy | Dec 25, 2008 12:38:31 AM

  25. Am I the only person sick to death of people saying they don't believe in gay marriage, but they believe "gay partners ought to have all the rights that any other citizens have in this country". Do they not realise that denying someone the right to marriage means that this cannot be possible. Ugh, makes me furious!!

    Posted by: Adrian | Dec 25, 2008 1:34:14 AM

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