LGBT: Let’s Give Barack Trouble

I know I said I’d try more to stay away from mainstream media-dominating news, but I had to say something about this issue.

Leaders of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (what LGBT really stands for) community are outraged at President-elect Barack Obama already, and he hasn’t even taken office yet.  Why the outrage?  Because he dared invite prominent conservative pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at next year’s can’t-come-soon-enough inauguration.  Why the outrage?  Because Rick Warren opposes gay marriage and supported California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in that state (again).  Never mind that Warren has been trying to shift the church’s focus to the causes of international poverty and disease, especially AIDS; he opposes gay marriage, which President-elect Obama also opposes, and thus the LGBT community feels that Warren should be persona non grata, does not deserve the honor of delivering the invocation, and that Barack Obama has made a huge mistake, possibly even a betrayal of their support, in selecting Warren.

Dear LGBT community, shut up.

Instead of being pissed and bitchy that Obama picked Warren for the invocation, where’s some praise for Obama for inviting Joseph Lowery, a Methodist minister, civil rights leader, and staunch supporter of gay marriage, to deliver the benediction?  I’ve heard and seen none of that so far.

Barack Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do in his campaign:  he’s being inclusive and reaching out to everyone, including conservatives, to work together productively with them, whether he agrees with their positions or not.  He’s not going to make everybody happy with every single decision that he makes, which is impossible to do anyway, and he warned his supporters of that.  He’s focusing on the things people have in common rather than their differences, and despite their differences, Warren and Obama do agree on climate change, foreign assistance, and many other issues.  They can work together, and, to build the inclusive nation moving towards change that he wants to build, Obama will need to include conservatives.  He’s doing fine, he’s doing right.

And for those who say that Warren’s invitation means that Obama is pandering to conservatives and not moving towards change at all?

To those people, I say again, shut up.  And think, before you say anything again.

The man delivering the invocation, the opening prayer,  at the inauguration is a staunch conservative (i.e., the anti-civil rights party) that opposes gay marriage.

The man delivering the benediction, the closing prayer, at the inauguration is an old-school, worked-with-MLK, was-in-the-Selma-To-Mongomery-Marches civil rights hero who supports gay marriage.

With his selection of these two men, and their places in the inauguration ceremonies, Barack Obama has made a statement that is apparently far too subtle for the mainstream media and Obama’s detractors to see:  with his inauguration, America is moving forward from the conservatism and oppression of the past to a future with freedom and opportunity for all.  The inauguration, from beginning to end, is about moving from what has been to what will be.  It is, in essence, about change, which is what Barack Obama has been about from day one of his campaign.

It’s amazing what the larger picture reveals when one doesn’t stay stuck on small perspectives.

VS – 12.21.08

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