Inaugural Prayer Marks Changed LGBT Rights Landscape
Rev. Luis Leon's closing prayer at President Obama's inauguration Monday was a strong call for fighting prejudice and "fear of those different than us" — and a sign of the success of the LGBT rights movement over the course of Obama's first term. Leon's views stood in marked contrast from those of other religious leaders whose selection to give public prayers at some of Obama's biggest events have drawn criticism for their divisive views. His words, echoing Obama's own inclusion of gay rights as core civil rights, provided audible proof of how far the ground has shifted on LGBT issues since Obama took the oath of office four years ago. Leon, of St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, was the second choice to give the inaugural benediction Monday. He replaced Rev. Louie Giglio, whose past comments about homosexuality had led to an outcry from some LGBT advocates and allies and, then, Giglio's removal from the program.