Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire. (AP photo)
Friends know that I’ve been very down on the upcoming inauguration, after I worked my keister off to elect Barack Obama. I did not want Jerry Falwell Lite giving the invocation in the person of Rick Warren.
When howls were raised at his selection, Obama blew them off at a news conference. “Look,” he began—which is always a dead giveaway that he’s going to say no and be rigid about it. He wasn’t about to disinvite Falwell Lite after he delivered, oh, half a dozen Republican votes to Obama.
LGBT voters went for Obama 3-1. So screw him, I wasn’t going to watch or listen or even read about his inauguration, no matter how historic it will be, no matter how long we’ve waited for our first African-American president. I was boycotting my own candidate.
He’s since taken an “I’ll make it up to you” approach with LGBT voters, by asking the world’s first openly-Gay Bishop, my friend Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, to give the prayer at the first event of the 3-day inaugural celebration, Sunday the 18th at the Lincoln Memorial.
It will be broadcast by HBO, including a free feed for non-subscribers; good for them, an act of corporate responsibility. Wouldn’t it be nice if he could inaugurate a new wave of that!
And what a lineup: Bono, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen—and the Washington Gay Men’s Chorus. Wow! Won’t Gene be in great company? Won’t we all?
In addition, an invitation-only, select group from the national Lesbian and Gay Band Association will march and play in the Inaugural Parade on Tuesday. That’s a first—and before a worldwide TV audience.
So I’m satisfied; Obama made it up to me, and I hope to you. I think he’s had a stellar transition (with one or two exceptions) and I can’t wait to see him sworn in.
I received my embossed formal invitation (suitable for framing) in the mail a few days ago. I can’t go (DC in January? It’s 8º outside right now, headed for -30º windchill), but I will happily watch.
God keep him safe and make him our President.++