Our colleague Matthew DeLong at the Washington Independent shares an interesting new tidbit in the on-going Barack Obama inaugural preacher controversy:
Not content to have just one controversial clergyman in a lead role at his inauguration celebration, President-elect Barack Obama has reportedly tapped a married gay bishop to lead the prayer at an on event Sunday.
BREAKING: The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who became the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003 and last year entered into a civil union with his gay partner, will deliver the invocation for Sunday’s kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, with President-elect Obama in attendance. The event is free and open to the public.
An Obama source: ‘Robinson was in the plans before the complaints about Rick Warren. Many skeptics will read this as a direct reaction to the Warren criticism – but it’s just not so.’
This news comes on the heels of Episcopal Diocese of Colorado Bishop Robert O’Neill ordaining Mary Catherine Volland, a lesbian and longtime Colorado resident, on Saturday. She will serve at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Denver joining several other Colorado congregations led by gay priests.
O’Neill told The Denver Channel:
“The Diocese of Colorado is perhaps the most politically and theologically diverse diocese in The Episcopal Church. I am grateful to all in this diocese who faithfully come to the table to offer their many gifts to God’s service, including the gay and lesbian Christians among us who so generously contribute to our common life and ministry.”