Obama Team Apologies, May Play Robinson Tape At Inauguration

Via The Feed:

The officials who planned Sunday’s inaugural music celebration, We Are One, have apologized for a error that resulted in excluding the invocation by openly gay Episcopal bishop, the Rev. Gene Robinson, from the televised portion of the program. They also say the bishop’s prayer may be broadcast on the big screens before Tuesday’s inauguration program begins.


There is talk that Robinson’s invocation will be shown early tomorrow and the inauguration committee may post video of his prayer on its channel within the video-sharing Web site YouTube. But the committee has not yet confirmed that to me.


  1. MartinLuther says

    BaCTRrack Obama is an hypocrite, like all demagogues. You will see backtracking all the time: Yes we may but later, Yes we could have but circumstances have changed (as in change we can believe in, as in I’ve changed my mind…).

  2. Jack says

    Did anyone else notice that when Josh Groban sang, and then Heather Headley joined him, they both had titles on screen that said who they were. But when the Gay Men’s Choir joined them, there was no title saying who they were????

  3. Jack says

    Did anyone else notice that when Josh Groban sang, and then Heather Headley joined him, they both had titles on screen that said who they were. But when the Gay Men’s Choir joined them, there was no title saying who they were????

  4. Jack says

    Did anyone else notice that when Josh Groban sang, and then Heather Headley joined him, they both had titles on screen that said who they were. But when the Gay Men’s Choir joined them, there was no title saying who they were????

  5. Jack says

    Did anyone else notice that when Josh Groban sang, and then Heather Headley joined him, they both had titles on screen that said who they were. But when the Gay Men’s Choir joined them, there was no title saying who they were????

  6. Dhard says

    Anything to appease the gay bloggers and then later not do what they say and blame it on “technical difficulties” our scheduling foul-ups. Are the “embarrassed” to announce publicly that they have queers as part of the inauguration???
    I’m hopping that Rick Warren’s mic cuts out when he delivers the invocation tomorrow.

  7. Sargon Bighorn says

    We’ll never hear Robinson again at the inauguration. When politicos speak, tongues become forked. (Oh I want to be wrong, please let me be wrong).

  8. KB says

    I’m a progressive, liberal homo who wants equal rights. I want them now. For everyone.

    Having said that, I’m embarrassed by the temper tantrum people are having about a perceived slight regarding this broadcast. Obama hasn’t even been sworn in yet, and people are already saying “Told you so!”

    It’s not that big of a deal. Everyone makes mistakes. The inauguration and all of its attendant cermonies and celebrations are fraught with complex logistics being handled by a multitude of people. Taking this personally is just going to ruin your day and not allow you to see the big picture.

    I’m appalled at how people are not celebrating the inclusion of the Gay Men’s Chorus, Ellen, Bishop Robinson, the gay appointees to the administration so far, and the imminent repeal of DADT!

    Get over it!

  9. MyDogBen says

    I know a one-term loser when I see him. ‘Sit down, you gay people. This is not your turn. This is not your time.’

    I will not sit down. I will not shut up, KB.

  10. KB says

    No one’s asking you to sit down and shut up. A little perspective is in order for everyone, especially in light of the fact that nobody know’s exactly what happened with all the tumult of the past day or two.

    Your “one-term loser” has a 79% approval rating. What makes him a one-term president? Because you perceive that someone didn’t give you what you want? If that were the case, we would be awaiting Bush’s 3rd term with McCain. Bush did nothing for gay people, and he was re-elected (well, sort of).

    I choose to rejoice in the promise of tomorrow and the next four years, to celebrate the fact that McCain and Palin were not elected, and to wait and see what happens. I, for one, am extremely optimistic about Obama and gay rights. Does anyone in their right mind think that the President-Elect personally intervened to tell HBO what to broadcast, or to instruct those working for him to do so? Nobody has said “This is not your turn, this is not your time.” All of these false attributions just make gay people look bitter. I find it highly unlikely this was purposely anti-gay given everything else going on. Nobody has the facts about this HBO issue, so I see no reason to attribute this to him.

  11. MyDogBen says

    KB, I respect your position. I am happy you feel celebratory. I do not. This is a guy who ran a PERFECT campaign and I am being asked to believe this pattern of disrespect to the gays is accidental? BTW Melissa Etheridge and other celebrity lesbians do not speak for me.
    I thought the honeymoon with this man would last at least after the inauguration. My mistake. One term? If he will throw me under the bus to suck up to evangelicals, he will do likewise to others. Obama was the better choice in the election, yes. But let’s come back in four year’s time and see where we stand.

  12. K says

    Mydogben, I respect your thoughtful post. It will be very interesting to see how it all unfolds. Personally, I don’t feel thrown under the bus, nor do I see a pattern of disrespect. I see a transcendent individual reaching out more broadly than anyone has before him. That may cause some discomfort for the bedfellows, but it’s an educational process. I WANT Obama to engage the evangelicals, since he got 32% of the evangelical vote (compared to Kerry’s 16%). If he can reach into that community, nd the younger generation which is more likely to be predisposed to accepting gay equal rights, I don’t see a problem with that.

    One thing is for sure, if expectations are not met, the incoming President may find the gay and lesbian communities use the social networking and technology he used so well to win the election be used to register dissatisfaction and calls for greater change. As I said, I am hopeful.

  13. says

    For the record: None of the back up singers, musicians or choirs had their names on the screen during the concert so tell me what was the problem? The names were only for the major stars.

  14. says

    “Having said that, I’m embarrassed by the temper tantrum people are having about a perceived slight regarding this broadcast. Obama hasn’t even been sworn in yet, and people are already saying ‘Told you so!'”

    I think gay people have every right to be wary and suspicious after the Warren selection, which made the Robinson omission all the more anger-making, whatever the reason for it. The “tantrum” was fueled by more than simply the incident yesterday. In the wake of Prop 8 etc. we’re pissed off bigtime and have every right to be.

    That said, I agree with the rest of what you say, KB.

    If we choose to think of the inauguration as an end rather than a beginning, the only ones who will benefit are the right wing, who’d love nothing better than for us to throw in the towel on Obama. Too much is at stake, both on the LGBT front and every other front. We need to engage, not disengage. I will push however I can for Obama to act on the LGBT issues he’s promised to act on.

    At the same time, there are myriad other crucial issues out there, and I feel confident that we are leaving the tragic Bush years behind–thank god–and entering a new era, one where we might actually be able to be proud to be Americans again. To write off Obama as a “one-term loser” (unless you wrote him off from the beginning and want him to fail for selfish political reasons) before he’s started governing hurts no one but ourselves.

  15. MyDogBen says

    Thanks, K. PS, I agree with you that our community learned a lot in the last election and we can use that knowledge and strength to our advantage in future elections as well.

    Ernie, I supported the Obama candidacy early and loudly and I backed it up with multiple donations (a first for me). So to have my smaller (3% ? 10%?) demographic judged disposable by B.O. when weighed against the larger christianist demographic then, yes, the honeymoon is over with this guy. His pretty words weary my ears. Show me substantive, meaningful changes. If he can’t get the job done for GLBT people, then bring on a president who will.

  16. Gay says

    if David Duke or any other racist, bigot, had been asked to share the inaugural stage with the incoming pres, would that have been acceptable? Would the protesters have been labeled whiners? gays and lesbians and women continue to the be groups that are indeed ‘thrown under the bus’, discounted, taken for granted. i did not vote for obama (i voted green), but keep trying to be hopeful that he will effect real change. he and his administration, so far, have made it difficult for me to jump on board. Fisa, Rick Warren, his misogynist boy speech ‘director’… where’s the change folks? it doesn’t count to compare him to the last nitwit in office.anyone would be better than him. it doesn’t matter that he has dark skin. remember, judge by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. i’m still waiting to see the content of his character.

  17. glennmcgahee says

    WAKE UP people! What part of all this do you not get? It began with Donnie McClurkin many months ago. THe Gospel Tour of Barack Obama’s. The Faith Tour of Barack Obama. “We beleive marriage is between a man and a woman” by Joe Biden. Robo calls in California saying vote yes on Prop. 8 by Barack Obama. The Gay Pride parade skipped by Barack Obama for a haircut and shootin some hoops. Can’t have my picture taken with the mayor of SF, Gavin Newsome because he’s pushing Prop 8. A slip-up? A bone-headed mistake? Nothing is a mistake with these people. It is choreographed to a T. Nobody is gonna fight for rights for you. If we want equality, we’ll have to demand it.

  18. says

    KB and Glenn, among others–stay angry and cautious. This is another “mistake” in what seems to be a mistake-bound policy towards people from alternative sexualities.

    This was theoretically a mea culpa because of the Rick Warren slap in the face. So that makes the error all the more problematic.

    Stay angry and stay aware but be smart about it. That is part of the energy that put this man in office.

  19. Patrick lehman says

    Polititians do what they believe, but they don’t sacrifice their career over a single issue, no matter how heartfelt. Clinton tried and failed to deliver for the gays. Obama may well succeed. But he does have a developing pattern of cozying up with religious folks, attempting to borrow equity, only to appplogize and distance himself from a messy controversy. Will he get better at avoiding the traps, or avoid the religious toadying altogether? I have never heard a polititian make such a clear, humane connection of gay rights to the human rights struggle. I hope we can be patient, and supportive, and vocal as to what we expect.

  20. GaysareOK says

    Do we think that if a white President-Elect who might have tossed the African American’s an opportunity for a Black Rev. to speak — then did not include him on the totally white broadcast, there’d be more anger?

  21. ChrisB says

    Thanks Cadence, David, Glenn, for your thoughtful, reality-based, comments. We have to depend upon ourselves. It was true in the horrific early years of the AIDS epidemic. It is true now. Team Obama is a gross disappointment.

  22. JDT says

    I work for HBO.

    To be clear, this was a scheduling mistake made by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, who has already issued a statement acknowledging this issue.

    HBO had a set block of time to be included in the official celebration – from 2:30pm until 4:30pm. Rev.Robinson went on at roughly 2:24pm. While we taped all day, we were only licensed to broadcast at our specific programming times.

    We, obviously, have taken notice to this issue over the weekend and we are working with the Presidential Inaugural Committee to re-broadcast “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration” to include the beautiful speech made by Rev. Robinson.

    The first re-broadcast will be TOMORROW Jan 21st @ 11:30pm on HBO2. Additional dates will be announced.

    Also, the feature will be made available online to ALL via HBO.com and we are working on making it available on Youtube.

    Stay tuned…

  23. Zeke says

    JIMMYBOYO, I’m not exactly sure how you come to the conclusion that Obama was “vocal about voting NO on Prop 8″. He was NEVER vocal about VOTING no on Prop 8. He said, maybe once, that he was against Prop 8 but then he went on, in the same sentence, to state his personal position on marriage vs. domestic partnerships/civil unions which was EXACTLY the position that Prop 8 was intending to codify. He said that he is against gay marriage but supports domestic partnerships and civil unions. Prop 8 outlaws gay marriage but allows domestic partnerships.

    It seems to me that his statement was as much of an endorsement of Prop 8 as it was a statement that he was against it.

    Did I miss something?

    And for those pointing out that no other chorus was identified let me make one observation. NO other chorus was HISTORIC or a FIRST whereas the DC Gay Men’s Chorus performing on the national stage at an official inaugural event is historic, special and worthy of recognition just as we single out and recognize other historic firsts at events like this.

  24. says

    Zeke, I believe Jimmy was primarily correcting Glenn’s misleading statement “Robo calls in California saying vote yes on Prop. 8 by Barack Obama” which implies that Obama and his team were personally behind the calls and were urging CA voters to support Prop 8. This isn’t true and, of course, Glenn knows this. (He takes every opportunity to bash Obama.) Obama’s words–not in favor of full marriage equality, it’s true–were used deceitfully and effectively by Prop 8 supporters.

    I agree, however, that Obama’s opposition to Prop 8 was timid at best and deserves criticism.

  25. Zeke says

    ERNIE, I understand that but I want to make it clear that we have to be honest about what Obama did and did not do during Prop 8, and I say this as one of Obama’s biggest supporters throughout the campaign.

    The unfortunate reality is Obama’s position did not have to be skewed or twisted to make a commercial in support of Prop 8. The ONLY thing misleading is to say that he supported the official Prop 8 “amendment”. If they had simply said, “Barack Obama supports the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman but he supports domestic partnerships and that is EXACTLY what Prop 8 does” they would have been 100% truthful and accurate.

    JIMMYBOYO, stated that Obama vocally supported VOTING NO on Prop 8. That is categorically not true.

    I’m all for giving President Obama credit where credit is due but I will no more carry his water when it’s underserved than I was to do so for his predecessor.

    The days of me cutting slack and giving the benefit of the doubt are GONE. From this day forward I will settle for nothing less than ACTION. Sweet words and throwing the word “gay” into a speech every now and then is no longer going to make me feel all goose pimply. I will no longer settle with the mindset that we have to play nice and keep our heads down and hope that we will eventually be GIVEN equal and unseparated rights. From now on, regardless of who’s in charge, I will speak up, stand up and refuse to shut up until our country ceases to WITHOLD rights from us that are ALREADY ours according to our Constitution, the UN Declaration on Human Rights and by right of our citizenship and humanity.

  26. says

    I agree with you, Zeke, and I’m not taking issue with what you pointed out to Jimmy. But Glenn’s statement was misleading, as Jimmy noted, since it implied that Obama was making robo calls in favor of Prop 8, which was simply not the case. Prop 8 supporters may not have been twisting Obama’s words (and his words ARE wrong re: marriage), but they were obviously deceitfully using them to make voters believe that Obama was in favor of taking away rights via Prop 8, which he clearly was not.

    Certainly, from this day forward, his actions will be what matters. We should be firm, outspoken, and, within reason, patient. It is the first day of his presidency, after all.

  27. dezboi says

    JDT…HBO broadcast the censored anit-gay version free to every home in America but the “pacify the gays” version will only be available to subscribers on your lesser HBO2 net or on YouTube?

    Thanks for the separate but completely unequal treatment. I cancelled HBO and I’m gd glad I did.

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