Pro-Gay Episcopal Priest Chosen to Replace Louie Giglio for Inauguration Benediction

The Rev. Luis León, an Episcopal priest whose church is near the White House, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration of Barack Obama, CNN reports:

LeonThe Rev. Luis León told CNN on Tuesday the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee invited him last week to deliver the closing prayer at the 57th Presidential Inauguration.

León pastors Saint John's Church, an Episcopal parish just across Lafayette Park from the White House, dubbed the "Church of the Presidents."

"I found out last week," he told CNN in an interview on Tuesday.

A source close to the inaugural committee confirmed León would be delivering the benediction and said a formal announcement would be coming later in the week.

The Obamas are frequent worshipers at León's church. Leon also delivered the invocation at George W. Bush's inauguration in 2005.

The HuffPost adds:

León's own parish is known for welcoming openly gay members. The church, which has openly gay, non-celibate priests and has had a gay bishop, announced this summer that it would bless same-sex partnerships and ordain transgender priests. This month, the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal church, announced that it would also begin same-sex marriage ceremonies.


  1. Stefan says

    Agree with Kevin. The guy was located right across the street and you’ve worshiped at his church many times before and know where he stands on probably everything. How was he not the blindingly obvious choice here?

  2. Caliban says

    Apparently the reason Giglio was originally chosen is he has done a lot of work* against human-trafficking, AKA modern slavery. (*I don’t know if he’s actually “worked” against it or just spoken against it.)

    Still. After the Rick Warren brouhaha and the extent to which Obama relied on campaign funds from gays this election you’d think they would have done a bare minimum of research to see if he was opposed to one of their core constituencies.

  3. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Javier: +Otis Charles was Bishop of Utah (1971-1986), president and dean of EDS [Episcopal Divinity School] (1987-1993). After his retirement, he acknowledged he was gay – making him the first bishop to be openly gay – and divorced his wife.

    +Mary Douglas Glasspool was elected Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles in 2009. +Gene Robinson said her election allowed him to retire early (i.e. before 70).

    The website for St John’s is down so I cannot see who was their bishop-in-residence.


    I wish the media would get right that The Episcopal Church does NOT perform religious same-sex marriages. (Both the canons and the Book of Common Prayer would have to be amended.) It does have a rite for the blessing of same-sex unions in the Book of Occasional Services. With the permission of the Diocesan Bishop, priests as functionaries of the state may perform civil same-sex marriages and the rite of blessing of same-sex unions.

  4. Icebloo says

    It’s good news of course but WHY we were forced to campaign for this ? I am a Democrat and I support Obama but when he keeps pulling s%it like this it shows us he doesn’t really support gays. He may SAY he supports us but his actions show us otherwise. I think he just wants our money and our votes.

    Now we have all the bull with this evil, dishonest Hagel idiot. Why is Obama putting us through this again and again ?

  5. Dar says

    This guy fits President Obama’s political agenda perfectly. They both may stand condemned on the day of judgement but it works for them in the here and now.

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