The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church in New Hampshire and the first openly gay priest ordained by a major Christian denomination, has accepted the Obama team’s invitation to deliver the invocation at the inauguration concert held at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. The event is the first that Obama will attend that weekend. Robinson shared the disappointment of many progressives at Obama’s choice of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the swearing-in ceremony, saying that the right-wing pastor deserved “to be at the table” but not in such a prominent way.
Steve Benen notes that Obama has also chosen the Rev. Sharon E. Watkins to deliver the sermon at the national prayer service, held the day after the inauguration. Watkins is the first woman ever selected to lead the service.
According to Politico’s Mike Allen, an “Obama source” said, “Robinson was in the plans before the complaints about Rick Warren. Many skeptics will read this as a direct reaction to the Warren criticism – but it’s just not so.”