Reverend Louie Giglio, a minister who was going to deliver the benediction for President Obama’s second inaugural, has withdrawn, after certain remarks of his from the 1990s on homosexuality emerged:
Mr. Giglio called on fellow Christians to fight the “aggressive agenda” of the gay-rights movement, and advocated “the healing power of Jesus” as “the only way out of a homosexual lifestyle” – a comment some gay-rights advocates interpreted as an endorsement of reparative, or so-called gay-to-straight conversion, therapy, as a supposed cure for homosexuality.
After discovering his remarks, the White House quickly moved to remove him from the event:
An official with Mr. Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee, which operates separately from the White House, vetted Mr. Giglio. People familiar with internal discussions between administration and committee officials said the White House viewed the selection as a problem for Mr. Obama, and told the panel on Wednesday night to quickly fix it. By Thursday morning, Mr. Giglio said he had withdrawn.
However, Chuck Hagel, the president’s nominee for secretary of defense, has been forgiven for remarks that Ambassador James Hormel was unfit for appointment in 1998: “And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job.” Hagel went on to assert that Hormel had “very aggressively told the world of his gayness and the funding and all the things he’s been involved in. I think you do go beyond common sense there, and reason and a certain amount of decorum.
So, the takeaway message from the administration is it’s alright to attack homosexuals if you’re going to lead the Pentagon, but not okay if you’re going to speak for five minutes at the inauguration. Got it.