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Gay-Affirming Episcopal Pastor Chosen to Replace Giglio for Obama Benediction

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Jan 16
  • Comments

An Episcopal pastor at a church not far from the White House has been chosen to replace evangelical pastor Louie Giglio for the official benediction at President Barack Obama's public inauguration on Jan. 21, the Christian Post reports. The Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, who has led St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., since 1995 and who also delivered the invocation at George W. Bush's second inauguration in 2005, was invited last week to deliver the benediction. After Giglio decided to decline the invitation to lead the benediction due to protests against an anti-homosexuality sermon he preached 20 years ago, many had predicted the minister chosen to replace him would be gay-affirming. St. John's Church, which has been attended by Obama as well as former president George W. Bush, blesses gay and lesbian unions. Giglio was chosen to perform the benediction largely for his global anti-slavery campaign, which drew strong support from Obama, but he explained he did not want to stir negative emotions at a time when he said the country needed healing, not division.