SAN FRANCISCO — The leader of California’s largest gay rights group says he will skip Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony to protest the participation of the Rev. Rick Warren, who supported a gay marriage ban here.
Warren, a Southern Baptist and one of the most influential pastors in the country, was chosen by Obama to deliver the inaugural invocation.
Equality California Executive Director Geoffrey Kors says the choice is "extremely disappointing and hurtful" given Warren’s support for Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that outlawed gay marriage.
Obama defended his decision in a news conference Dec. 18, saying he’s a fierce advocate of equality for gays and lesbians but wants to build relationships with people of opposing views.