Letter to President-elect Obama

December 19, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama
Presidential Transition Office
Washington, DC 20270

Dear President-elect Obama:

The gay and lesbian community, our millions of friends and all other fair minded Americans are extremely hurt and angry with your choice of Reverend Rick Warren to give the invocation at your Inauguration next month.

In an interview just 4 days ago, Reverend Warren compared gay marriage to legitimizing incest, child abuse, and polygamy. He said:

“I’m opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.” — Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, December 15, 2008

How can he talk about loving same-sex couples who wish to marry like everyone else in this cruel way? This guy is a bigot plain and simple. He has a long history of saying mean and hateful things to so many Americans with whom he does not agree, that he seems an odd fit into your celebration as you assume the Presidency of the United States.

So today we are asking you to drop Rick Warren from delivering the invocation at your swearing in ceremony.

We will be launching a new web site www.DropRickWarren.com to ask others to join in our effort to help persuade you to choose another man or woman to take this place of honor at your historic Inauguration.

We hope that you will drop Reverend Warren soon, and instead pick one of the thousands of religious leaders who don’t offend the gay and lesbian community and so many other Americans. You campaigned and were elected to unite this country and your removal of Rick Warren would go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Rick Warren was a major supporter of California’s Proposition 8, the successful ballot initiative to ban gay marriage. Many prominent national gay leaders have called for Reverend Warren to step aside or for you to remove him.

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, declared your invitation to Rick Warren a “genuine blow” to gay Americans. “And by inviting Rick Warren to your Inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table,” he wrote.

Equality California Executive Director, Geoff Kors said yesterday that, “I have decided to decline the invitation to attend the inauguration as I cannot be part of a celebration that highlights and gives voice to someone who advocated repealing rights from me and millions of other Californians.

Mr. President-elect, we know that you are trying to be inclusive at your Inaugural and in your administration and we applaud that. We, however, strongly urge you to do the right thing and reconsider your choice of Rick Warren. If you drop Rick Warren, it will send a loud and clear message to America and the world that you do not tolerate discrimination and hatred from anyone.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Fred Karger

One thought on “Letter to President-elect Obama

  1. I beleive you are mistaken in your cause. Barack Obama is the United States President-Elect, and has no power to adavance your cause. Correct me if I am wrong, but I see you as an incredibly sore loser. You need to first respect the rights of others to speak if you expect the same treatment in return. No one seeks to intimidate you into submission. Religious groups are not vanadalizing the property and harassing the persons who advocated for Proposition 8. Many of your group’s point of view of engaged in just such deplorable behavior.

    The Democratic process is one of majority rule. In our liberal democratic Republic, majority rule is nonetheless not absolute. It is limited by the bill of rights, set in place to protect minority groups from majority opression. The bill of rights, however, does not incude a right to homosexual-marriage. California’s constitution makes no such gaurantees either. Marraige, unmentioned in our Federal Constitution, is outside its scope, and left to majority vote absent an Amendment.

    On November 4th, Californians voted and said “No” to same-sex marriage. Homosexuals, I suppose, already have the same right to marry as other citizens of California. They just have to marry someone of the opposite gender.

    Marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman. It precedes and enables stable family life, and contributes greatly to the strength and stability of a society. Married parents, who concieve offspring through natural god-given means, raise their children in loving homes where they are taught about life, instilled with good faith, taught good values, good manners, and respect for others. Respect for others does not mean embracing the views of others.

    It seems that those in the Propostion 8 movement view homosexuals as unfairly discriminated against if their viewpoints are not adopted and embraced. Much to the contrary, “gays” have all the rights of other citizens and then some. You even have the right to civil unions in California.
    This is not a civil rights struggle you seek to wage. No one is denying you access to restraunts and hotels, or making you use a seperate water fountain. You were never shipped across the ocean in the cess filled undercarriages of crude ships, and then worked to death under threat of lashes in the hot summer sun.
    You have little to complain about and much to be grateful for in America! Take your loss with grace and composure. Treat the other side with respect and tolerance. One ought to be able to disagree without becoming disagreeable. Just because Obama selected a socially conservative pastor to say a prayer at his inauguration is no reason for you to get bent out of shape. Try appreciating the good in others just as you wish others to see the good in you. A wise man once said, “Others may hate you, but they do not win unless you hate them back. Then, you destroy yourself.” You are probably less hated than you imagine. Make yourself lovable, and let go of your hate towards others.

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