UPDATE 2: It appears that the Team Obama has responded. Gene Robinson’s website said that, “One addendum to yesterday’s posting: I have been invited to be on the President’s Platform for the inauguration/swearing in. An astounding honor!”
UPDATE 1: This is the official statement from Team Obama:
“We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. Robinson’s invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday’s program. We regret the error in executing this plan — but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event,” said PIC communications director Josh Earnest.
TWO’s Response: “We appreciate the explanation,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “However, it seems that Team Obama should make up for its error by having the courtesy to invite Bishop Robinson to address the nation on national television. He is a major national figure, and more historically prominent than Rick Warren, who will give the invocation. He deserves a ‘Do-Over’.”
Warren Gets Prime Time, Robinson Gets No Time, Says TWO
Truth Wins Out today urged the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) to explain why openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson was excluded from a Home Box Office airing of inauguration festivities. He gave his sermon on Sunday, but HBO did not air it, leaving America wondering why he was bumped from the broadcast. Additionally, Robinson’ microphone wasn’t turned on until his prayer was nearly over, so the crowd was also unable to hear him.
Robinson’ remarks were newsworthy and much anticipated because they were viewed as an attempt to mend fences with the gay community, after Obama chose anti-gay evangelical pastor Rick Warren to give the main invocation.
“We strongly urge Team Obama to get to the bottom of this because people are perplexed and looking for a reasonable explanation,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “As it stands, Rick Warren gets prime time and Gene Robinson gets no time. We would like the Inauguration Committee to strongly consider offering Robinson a new chance to deliver his remarks on national television.”
The website AfterElton.com contacted HBO on Sunday and the premium channel replied with an e-mail: “The producer of the concert has said that the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show.”
“Like all Americans, we just want to enjoy the inauguration of our new president,” said Besen. “We will feel much better about the event, once this situation is resolved.”
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that defends the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community against anti-gay lies. TWO also counters the so-called “ex-gay” industry and educates America about the lives of GLBT people.