Gay Bishop to Offer Prayer at Inaugural Event

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The first openly gay Episcopal bishop will
offer a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural event for
President-elect Barack Obama.

The selection of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson for Sunday's
event follows weeks of criticism from gay-rights groups over Obama's selection of the Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at his Jan. 20 inauguration. Warren backed the ban on same-sex marriage that California voters passed in November.

Robinson has said he was stung by Warren's selection, but says the fact that they'll both now be giving invocations "shows that the new president means to include all Americans."

Robinson adds that he believes Obama will be the most supportive
president ever for gay rights.

Robinson told the Concord Monitor that at Sunday's event, he won't pray an "especially Christian" prayer or use a Bible, since -- in his words -- "This is a prayer for the whole nation."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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