Statement by Neil Giuliano on the Exclusion of Bishop Gene Robinson from the HBO Broadcast of the Inaugural Celebration

Richard Ferraro
Director of Communications
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009, New York, NY - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is encouraging media outlets to highlight the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson’s historic participation in the Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, January 18 after the invocation he delivered was excluded from the original live airing on HBO.

Following the live broadcast, GLAAD contacted HBO and the Presidential Inauguration Committee to advocate for inclusion of the invocation in future broadcasts. An updated version of "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" will be broadcast on HBO at 11:30p.m. ET/PT on Wednesday, January 21 and on hbo.com. According to a press release issued today by HBO, "This presentation will include the invocation of the Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson, as well as all of the original performances of the live special, which was seen Sunday, Jan. 18.” The release states that “Rev. Robinson’s invocation was not included in the live presentation due to a miscommunication within the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC).”

GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano said, “We are disappointed that at this landmark moment millions of people worldwide did not get the opportunity to see the invocation by the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson during the original live broadcast of the opening celebration of the Presidential Inauguration.  Rev. Robinson’s incredible voice draws attention to the common ground we share and we are encouraged that HBO has restored his invocation to their historical record of that day.”