The controversial gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson has been asked to give a prayer at one of US President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration events.
The move is thought to be an attempt to ease tensions between the Obama camp and the gay community after the popular but homophobic Rev. Rick Warren was invited to deliver the invocation at the inauguration in Washington on January 20th.
Warren is opposed to gay marriage and the right to abortion. According to the Human Rights Campaign he spoke out vocally in support of Proposition 8, which recently banned same-sex marriage in California.
Unlike Warren, however, Robinson will not give the prayer at the main inauguration on Tuesday -when Obama will be officially sworn into office – but at an event kicking off the inaugural celebrations on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
The ceremony will be televised and Obama is expected to speak.
Robinson was thrust into the spotlight when he was elected Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 despite being openly gay. His ordination led to a schism between liberals and conservatives within the Episcopal and Anglican churche around the world.