A pastor set to deliver the inaugural benediction at the Obama Inauguration this month has withdrawn over anti-gay remarks he made in the mid-90s.
Atlanta’s Pastor Louis Giglio once advocated for ex-gay therapy and spoken out against the “homosexual lifestyle.”
He also invoked a biblical passage often interpreted to require gay people to be executed and argued that homosexuals choose to be gay.
“People aren’t born gay – but even if they are, it’s still a choice like giving into alcoholism, addiction and overeating,” Giglio said in a 54-minute sermon called “In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality.”
The Presidential Inaugural Committee issued a statement in response to Giglio’s withdrawal.
“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural,” Addie Whisenant, a spokesperson for the committee, said. “As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”
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