It's been all over the news since yesterday that President-elect Obama has chosen Rick Warren to participate in the Inauguration by giving a prayer. The news has brought attention to the fact that human rights activists of the glbt community is upset. (from here on I will use glbt as the abbreviation for gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender) I want to share a friend's story, and I hope that it can bring some understanding of why they feel like he is an unwelcome choice.
Jeff Lutes is the executive director of Soulforce, and he and his partner, Gary, are the fathers of 3 adopted children. I have met them as a family, and was impressed with such well-behaved kids and their loving dads. Here is what he shared about meeting Rick Warren last summer.
Although I can understand that Obama wants to "reach out" to the faith community, since Warren is well-respected by and well-connected within that community. He's a leader, an author that has sold millions of his books, and he has been featured on the cover of Time magazine as someone who gives of his time and his wealth to support others.
But Warren also has disregarded gay people of Christian faith, and he has stated that he does not believe in civil unions or gay marriage. He used words like "immaturity," and said homosexuals should practice, "delayed gratification." He said that even if it should be found that people are born gay, that they should not express that part of themselves.
What really irks me is that we are not talking about folks who want to party all-night-long, like the song says, but we are talking about people of faith, those who believe in forming loving families of faith in Christ!
So can we do what Jeff Lutes suggests? Can we pray together for a day when all are accepted? When all have their relationships recognized? Let us all hope for a time when churches and their leaders stop spreading lies about gay families, so that the gay men and women who want to build families are supported in our churches and protected by our laws.