An Open Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama on the Selection of Rick Warren for Inauguration Invocation

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 Outdated prejudice, and antiquated philosophies, are out of step with the change in tone we, and our loved ones, want to believe in.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
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