Statement by GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano on the Rev. Gene Robinson's Participation in Inauguration Opening Celebration

January 12, 2009
Richard Ferraro Director of Communications (646) 871-8011

January 12, 2009, New York, NY - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today applauded the selection of the Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson, openly gay bishop of the New Hampshire diocese of the U.S. Episcopal Church, to deliver the invocation at the opening celebration of the Presidential Inauguration. GLAAD is encouraging media outlets to highlight Rev. Robinson’s historic participation and his ongoing service and leadership to communities of faith around LGBT issues.

"We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" will be broadcast exclusively on HBO from 7-9 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, Jan.18. According to a press release issued by HBO, "HBO will televise the event on an open signal, working with all of its distributors to allow Americans across the country with access to cable, telcos or satellite television to join in the Opening Celebration for free."

“President-elect Obama has made an excellent choice with the selection of Rev. Gene Robinson, and the broadcast will allow millions of people worldwide to participate in this historic event,” said Neil G. Giuliano, President of GLAAD. “Rev. Robinson represents an incredible voice who has made great strides toward encouraging LGBT inclusion in faith communities. By featuring an openly gay faith leader, Obama is sending a strong message about the importance of truly inclusive faith voices that can move us away from exclusion and division and toward the common ground we share.”