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 Gay leaders furious with Obama

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PostSubject: Gay leaders furious with Obama   Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:43 pm

Gay leaders furious with Obama
Ben Smith, Nia-malika Henderson – Wed Dec 17, 5:59 pm ET

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that – in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California – is looking for a fight.

Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

“Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.”

The rapid, angry reaction from a range of gay activists comes as the gay rights movement looks for an opportunity to flex its political muscle. Last summer gay groups complained, but were rebuffed by Obama, when an “ex-gay” singer led Obama’s rallies in South Carolina. And many were shocked last month when voters approved the California ban.

“There is a lot of energy and there’s a lot of anger and I think people are wanting to direct it somewhere,” Solomonese told Politico.

The selection of Warren to preside at the inauguration is not a surprise move, but it is a mirror image of President Bill Clinton’s early struggles with issues of gay rights. Obama has worked, and at times succeeded, to bridge the gap between Democrats and evangelical Christians, who form a solid section of the Republican base.

Obama opposes same-sex marriage, but also opposed the California constitutional amendment Warren backed. In selecting Warren, he is choosing to reach out to conservatives on a hot-button social issue, at the cost of antagonizing gay voters who overwhelmingly supported him.

Clinton, by contrast, drew early praise from gay rights activists by pressing to allow openly gay soldiers to serve, only to retreat into the “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise that pleased few.

The reaction Wednesday in gay rights circles was universally negative.

“It’s a huge mistake,” said California gay rights activist Rick Jacobs, who chairs the state’s Courage Campaign. “He’s really the wrong person to lead the president into office.

“Can you imagine if he had a man of God doing the invocation who had deliberately said that Jews are not going to be saved and therefore should be excluded from what’s going on in America? People would be up in arms,” he said.

The editor of the Washington Blade, Kevin Naff, called the choice “Obama’s first big mistake.”

“His presence on the inauguration stand is a slap in the faces of the millions of GLBT voters who so enthusiastically supported him,” Naff wrote, referring to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. “This tone-deafness to our concerns must not be tolerated. We have just endured eight years of endless assaults on our dignity and equality from a president beholden to bigoted conservative Christians. The election was supposed to have ended that era. It appears otherwise.”

Other liberal groups chimed in.

“Rick Warren gets plenty of attention through his books and media appearances. He doesn’t need or deserve this position of honor,” said the president of People for the American Way, Kathryn Kolbert, who described Warren as “someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans.”

Warren’s spokeswoman did not respond to a message seeking comment, but he has tried to blend personal tolerance with doctrinal disapproval of homosexuality.

“I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church,” he said in a recent interview with BeliefNet.

In the same interview, he compared the “redefiniton of a marrige” to include gay marriage to legitimizing incest, child abuse, and polygamy.

Obama’s move may deepen some apparent distance between him among gays and lesbians, one of the very few core Democratic groups among whom his performance was worse than John Kerry’s in 2004. Exit polls suggested that John McCain won 27% of the gay vote in November, up four points from Bush’s 2004 tally – even as almost all other voters slid toward Obama.

But despite the symbolism of picking Warren, Obama is likely to shift several substantive policy areas in directions that will please gay voters and their political leaders, including a pledge to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” in military service.

And some gay activists were holding out hope that they would either persuade Obama to dump Warren or Warren to change his mind.

“Rick Warren did a real disservice to gay families in California and across the country by casually supporting our continued exclusion from marriage,” said the founder of the pro-same sex marriage Freedom to Marry, Evan Wolfson. “I hope in the spirit of the new era that’s dawning, he will open his heart and speak to all Americans about inclusion and our country’s commitment to equality.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081217/pl_politico/16693
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PostSubject: Re: Gay leaders furious with Obama   Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:42 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Gay leaders furious with Obama   Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:27 pm

TOO MANY OF THESES

I'M OUT OF HERE



PATTI
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PostSubject: Re: Gay leaders furious with Obama   Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:33 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Gay leaders furious with Obama   Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:11 pm

My thoughts on this issue:

I'm not happy with the choice of Rick Warren, however, I do understand that Obama does not agree with him on the issues of Gay rights, as Obama does not agree with a lot of people but is still able to be civil or inviting to them. That's what an open minded person does. Banning people from our lives simply because we disagree with them or their values will never bring us understanding and equality. If we want to see change then we embrace the people who disagree with us and try and find common ground or compromise.

I understand that Obama's choice in Warren has upset some people, and I for one hope Obama takes everyone words into consideration and does his best to not just cater to the majority but to EVERYONE.
But on the other side, Let him reach out a hand to Warren, it doesn't change what Obama believes. we should all remember to not be like those ignorant hateful people during the campaign that insisted that just because Obama had associations with Ayers, Wright and others that they felt were "unsavory" DID NOT mean he agreed with them. Nor did it compromise who he is as a person. We need to have more faith in Obama and not expect him to make the choices we always would, nor should he be perfect. Think about what we have for the last 8 years and really think if the choice for some small speech giver is really worth all this anger and distrust in this really good man we all voted for. I'm not begrudging anyone's feelings, I do understand why you're upset, but we need to realize this isn't that big of a deal nor is it a sign that Obama has turned his back on the gay community.

Later came my thoughts on his end game...

I've read a lot more people's comments about this, here and other boards and I better understand the anger of not just Warren as a choice but him being there at an important time and place. Warren is a bigot who compares homosexuality to pedophiles, but from what i hear he has a huge focus on helping aids patients and reduce poverty, so that tells me that he's not a monster, just very ignorant. And ignorance can be change.

Now Obama says this inauguration will be the most "inclusive" event, well that unfortunately means people not everyone is going to like. But He knows he needs to show equality at this ceremony and is tying his best to give everyone a voice. We may not like it, but 80% of americans are christian most of whom are against gay rights. I think Obama knows if he doesn't reach out to them and show them he's their president too, he will never be in a position to change their mind and help them become more tolerant towards others. I think Obma is a brilliant man who can see a much larger picture then any of us right now. He sees the end game, and he understands that to win that end game will take some hard unpleasant choices and associations to help bring us all together in the end.

If Obama just catered to the left and progressives, he would be in a constant 4-8 year battle with the conservatives and right wing. Nothing would get done, he'd have little support to implement all the changes he promised us. He has to reach out to those he disagrees with and i really believe he disagrees with Warren on this issue, but he needs to reach out to him because of his vast influence over so many americans so maybe if he can be in a position to change Warren's mind, he can in turn help change the mass's mind on this issue.

I think Obama is just at the beginning of a long battle, but i also think he has a goal which DOES include equality for ALL. But the poor man is facing a disaster left by the last administration and he hasn't even been sworn in yet, so again I urge us to come together and support him. I think it's perfect acceptable to let him know if you're disappointed in his choices or to voice your disagreements but please refrain from thinks like "impeach obama" or "can i take my vote back" or "We made a mistake!", cause taking a step back be honest with yourselves and ask would you be happier with Bush back, or McCain and Palin at the helm? Or are you willing to ride these bumps out, have a little faith and see where Obama takes us?

It wont always be easy, but real change rarely is.
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PostSubject: Re: Gay leaders furious with Obama   Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:12 pm

Obama has also invited a pro gay right pastor to speak as well as announced another gay member of his cabinent: Nancy Sutley will be Leading Obama's Environmental Council.
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PostSubject: Re: Gay leaders furious with Obama   Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:16 am



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