Integrity celebrates Bishop Gene Robinson’s historic presence in the Inaugural celebrations for our nation’s 44th President as a giant step forward taken for LGBT equality.
“There are miles to go before we rest in this journey toward being truly a nation of liberty and justice for ‘all,’” said Integrity President Susan Russell, “but when Bishop Gene Robinson took his place at the podium at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday we all moved closer toward realizing that goal. In addition to offering the invocation at Sunday’s Inaugural Concert, we are thrilled that Bishop Robinson will be among the invited guests at the prayer service on the Tuesday morning, will attend the swearing in ceremony, will view the Inaugural Parade from the Presidential viewing stand, and will attend the National Prayer Service at National Cathedral on Wednesday.
“Any disappointment that Bishop Robinson’s powerful opening prayer was not part of the HBO broadcast pales in comparison to the power of his iconic presence at the Lincoln Memorial on this historic occasion. Bishop Robinson’s invocation included prayers for patience, safety and compassion – and to 'Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.' It will echo through the ages as words of hope, vision and promise."
“We look forward to both the opportunities and challenges ahead as we enter a new era of partnership in our common commitment to overcome bias, bigotry and discrimination for all Americans.”
UPDATE: Obama staff takes heat for not airing bishop's prayer
President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural committee took the blame yesterday for Bishop V. Gene Robinson's invocation at the Sunday welcoming concert not being televised nationally, Politico reported.
Thousands of attendees heard the opening prayer given by Robinson, the openly gay New Hampshire Episcopal bishop, but viewers on HBO's telecast missed it. The inaugural committee said the telecast, including Robinson's invocation, will be shown on the big TV screens along the National Mall today.
"We had always intended and planned for Right 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," inaugural committee spokesman Josh Earnest told Politico.