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Obama, Rick Warren and Gay Marriage


I have a new story up on the flap over Barack Obama’s decision to invite Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Obama inauguration. 

“Define marriage,” Pastor Rick Warren asked Barack Obama at the “Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency,” held last August at Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.

“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” Obama quickly answered. Obama added that he opposed a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as he does, but on the basic issue, Obama and Warren agreed: marriage equals one man and one woman….

[So] why are gay groups so angry, knowing that Obama opposes gay marriage? In the end, it seems that the reason for the anger is that, no matter what Obama says, a number of gay activists appear to believe the president-elect is, deep down, with them on the issue. “He’s stated his support for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, he spoke out against Proposition 8, he’s against the Federal Marriage Amendment, he’s for full civil unions and domestic partnerships, he’s for the repeal of Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell,” [Human Rights Campaign spokesman Brad] Luna said. “He’s with us on all the issues of concern to our community except classifying relationships with the term marriage.” So what if Obama says he believes marriage is between one man and one woman; his positions, especially his support of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, seem to suggest otherwise. That’s why the choice of Warren seemed such a betrayal.

So now more liberal Obama supporters find themselves wondering what the president-elect truly believes. “The larger reason I’m so upset with Obama over this decision [is] I actually trusted the guy,” wrote the gay blogger John Aravosis. “I know, stupid me.”