Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Letter to President-Elect Obama

Earlier today, PFLAG National President John R. Cepek, Vice President Rabbi David Horowitz, and executive director Jody Huckaby sent the following letter to President-Elect Obama regarding his selection of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the January 20 inaugural in Washington, D.C.

Dear President-Elect Obama:

As people of faith, and as friends and family members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender loved ones, we are disheartened and discouraged by your selection of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inaugural ceremonies on January 20 in Washington. This historic moment in our nation’s history, and for our nation’s families, deserves the blessing of inclusive faith leaders who believe in, and practice, the universal call to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Simply put, there are many welcoming, affirming people of faith who would set a proper tone for this momentous event in our nation’s history, and Americans who cherish our national ideal of “liberty and justice for all” would have benefitted from a wiser choice for this honor than Rev. Warren.

As a proponent for rolling back rights for our families in California, Rev. Warren has sent an unmistakable signal that he believes some Americans are more worthy of civil liberties and legal protections than others. And as an outspoken critic of full marriage equality, Rev. Warren stands on the wrong side of history and, even more importantly, the wrong side of family values. Outdated prejudice, and antiquated philosophies, are out of step with the change in tone we, and our loved ones, want to believe in.

All of us at Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) have been inspired and empowered by your eloquent reminder that LGBT people are part of the fabric of our nation and that, as you so powerfully pointed out in 2004, “we have gay friends in the red states, too.” Rev. Warren, however, has not been a friend to our families, and his selection for this prestigious role in your inaugural ceremony is unwarranted and unfortunate.

Now, more than ever, our families need an ally in Washington who will stand up for us all. Unfortunately, Rev. Warren has stood against equality for all. We know our country, and our families, can do better.


John R. Cepek
PFLAG National President

Rabbi David Horowitz
PFLAG National Vice-President

Jody M. Huckaby
Executive Director


john ferguson said...

Rick Warren's comments on Beliefnet go far beyond his opposition to gay marriage. He blieves GLGT people practice perverse sex that sinful, that we have the right to sin since G_d gave us all freewill so we can choose to sin or not, but that society should not give us any entre into institutions that would recognize us as normalized legitimate members of society. In his framework he is saying our exitance should be discouraged.
Is there any other group in our society who are held in such contempt by anyone? He answers that question in the same interview: pedophiles and incestuous patriarchs, he says we are like them. And he can say these things with a smile on his face, politely. This man is dangerous.
That Obama would invite him to invoke G_d's blessing on his inauguration clearly means that we are excluded, he will not be invoking G_d's blessing on us.

Mariah and Byron Edgington said...

Well said.
Please let us know when this letter becomes available for equality-minded Americans to add their signature. Many of us will line up to sign.
Mariah & Byron Edgington
Marriage Equality Advocates

Pat Tedora said...

Great Letter, I hope that Mr. Obama actually gets to see it. I hope he remembers that we; parents, partners, friends, Lesbians, Gays,Bisexual and Trans people of the community are looking to him to set a good example to the rest of the United States and the world on the rights of ALL people.

gretchen said...

I have spent hours in the past several days on the various Obama websites trying to find a way to contact them to express my dismay and disappointment at the Rick Warren selection. Your letter is an eloquent statement of my feelings as a parent of a gay child. PLEASE try to establish a way for individuals to sign this letter or send a copy to Obama.

allison said...

How despicable Obama asked Warren to speak. Warren, along with his message of hate, is legitimized nationwide. It seems more unifying for our nation that Obama would have chosen a member of the clergy who sits at a large table with room for everyone, where ALL are welcome and equal. Interestingly, Obama did not choose a clergy with an anti-Jewish message, neither did he choose a member of the clergy with a racist message. Warren is a very dangerous demagogue. Adolf Hitler, one of the most successful demagogues in history, sincerely believed his own anti-Jewish diatribes. Hitler successfully rose to power through appeals to the ethnic and nationalistic prejudices and vanities of the German people. Jesus would fail to recognize Warren and his message as Christian. Allison Carr, Newport Beach, CA

Anonymous said...

I share Gretchen's feelings of frustration at being unable to express my shock and disappointment in the President-Elect for whose election I worked diligently. Warren's appearance is not a way to foster dialogue; it will give him a symbolic role of great importance. As the mother of a gay son I am appalled that the Pres.-Elect is so callous or indifferent to gays, and to no other group. He must have Warren withdraw; if he does not I hope those who have contributed to the Inaugural Committee will request refunds; and we should quietly but en masse boycott the ceremony.
Susie Nace

MarcAdams said...

In addition to all of his (Rick Watten) anti-gay religious beliefs, we cannot over look that this is a typical religious right minister who believes that EVERYONE who does not believe the way he does is going to "hell". That means Jews, etc.

However, Barak Obama choosing Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Throughout his campaign, Obama shared stages with exgays, Rick Warren, and he even participated in a "Compassion" forum at a anti-gay religious college.

So why is everyone surprised that he choose Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration?

Remember, they agree on several things including no gay marriage.
No one should be surprised that Obama invited the new Jerry Falwell to his party. However, we should all be surprised if Obama does not educate himself on the current civil rights struggle in his country for GLBT americans.

Jennifer M. Lehmann, Ph.D. said...

I voted for Barack Obama for many reasons, despite my cynicism about government in this type of society, and despite my feeling that a president is very limited in his/her ability to change things. However, I voted for him and did whatever I could to encourage others to vote for him. Now he has disappointed me profoundly. Not only has he voiced support for the genocidal massacre of Palestinians in, and occupation of, Gaza, he is having this hate-mongering anti-GLBT "Christian" speak at his inaguaral. Thank you for alerting us to this, and thank you for all the work you do. Jennifer M. Lehmann

Ashley Thompson said...

I am a strait, married, mother that voted for Obama as a symbol of HOPE for a NEW way of THINKING. A way of thinking that would provide new opportunities for every man, woman and child without discrimination. It saddens me very deeply that he chose Rick Warren to bless the inauguration. I live right by Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. I had people knocking on my door pushing "yes on 8" marketing materials. I had to wear earplugs in my own home because of the rallies outside. It was sad to see such organized discrimination from people who call themselves god loving. Sad to see this is what they are teaching their kids. Heck, why not have the KKK bless the inauguration too?

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