Still, I haven't been real keen to wade in on the whole controversy because a) I'm not gay, b) I know almost nothing about Rick Warren, and c) frankly, I think placing that much importance on a prayer during a political event is stupid.
Happily, someone from the gay community in England has articulated a well thought-out response to all of this that saves me the trouble. He makes several excellent points:
...Warren is no James Dobson or Jerry Falwell.
He does not preach hate, even if some of his statements about gay marriage may be offensive, false, and frankly absurd.
He may not support same-sex marriage, but his position on equality for gay and lesbian people does not differ hugely from that of Obama - or indeed his opponents for the Democratic nomination, Senators Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
He believes in providing equal protections for the LGBT community. He is also in favour of same-sex unions, just as we have in the United Kingdom.
...Let’s also remember that it was Billy Graham, who once said that all homosexuals should be castrated, who gave the invocation at President Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.
...It should also be noted that at the inauguration Rev Joseph Lowery will join Pastor Warren in offering prayers.
He is the 'dean of the Civil Rights movement', the man who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr and a Christian who supports same-sex marriage.
Ah! So there IS one!
I'm not saying the American gay community shouldn't continue to hold Obama's feet to the fire on this. But I do agree with the author of this essay that perhaps they should focus less on a single prayer on a single day, and more on the benefits the Obama presidency is likely to have for GLBT rights and other progressive goals if they decide to work with him instead of attacking him for every slight.
(gawd, I really do sound like a Liberal, don't I?)