The “Boys in the Band” Should Boycott the Inauguration

Well… and the girls, too.

I know we all love a parade, but come on folks. Are a group of proud lesbian and gay musicians really going to hold their heads high and march past a man who has publicly compared them to child-rapers?

The Inaugural Committee has sent out talking points about why Rev. Rick Warren was selected to deliver the inaugural invocation. This was included:

And for the very first time, there will be a group representing the interests of LGBT Americans participating in the Inaugural Parade.

In other words, Warren was chosen to deliver the spiritual blessing and the Lesbian and Gay Band Association was chosen for their – uh – color.

Responding to the controversy about Warren’s selection, President-elect Barack Obama offered this at today’s press address:

I am fierce advocate for equality for gay and — well, let me start by talking about my own views. I think it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something I have been consistent on and something I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.

What I’ve also said is that it is important for America to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues.

And I would note that a couple of years ago I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion.

Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak, and that dialogue, I think, is a part of what my campaign’s been all about, that we’re never going to agree on every single issue. What we have to do is create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable, and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans. So Rick Warren has been invited to speak, Dr. Joseph Lowery — who has deeply contrasting views to Rick Warren about a whole host of issues — is also speaking.

I’m feeling like our president-elect hasn’t heard that it’s possible to bend over backwards to the detriment of his spine.

By this standard, if we’re bringing America together, shouldn’t we include the Skinheads and the KKK? I mean, really, if we’re talking about unification and representing all voices and singing Kum Ba Yah together, let’s throw a wider net and invite everyone who has something derogatory and foul to say about somebody.

Oh, it’s not the same, you say?

A man was just beaten to death because someone thought he was gay.

I’d like to say this was unusual, but it really isn’t.

That’s why this isn’t about marriage rights, it’s not even about civil rights, it’s about being tricked into sharing the national spotlight with a man who makes statements that have the potential to threaten the safety of our community.

I’m not at all excited about the idea my “representatives” will be marched past a reviewing stand containing the world’s biggest sanctioned bigot.

I love a parade and a party as much as the next girl, but I feel that the only way to be truly out and proud in this situation is to be… silent.

Come on, band. Back out.


One response to “The “Boys in the Band” Should Boycott the Inauguration

  1. Hi GPG,
    Thanks for posting on this (and everything — always enjoy reading your thoughts & clips). On this one, I think I’m going to disagree w/ you though, and encourage us to give Obama this chance. I felt, as I’m sure all of “us” did, like I’d been punched in the gut yesterday, when I heard the Warren announcement on the radio.

    After listening to Obama at the press conference, which you excerpted here, I began the process of prying my mind open again (ow!). Of course Warren’s statement in that Anderson Cooper clip was over-the-top offensive, comparing gay marriage to pedophile-child marriage, incestuous marriage, and polygamy — but it was one sound byte that was so ill-thought-out, actually, that I think Warren himself would re-think it if he had time…I mean, the bible obviously HAS been used to support polygamy, so his point falls apart before it even comes out of his mouth!

    The bottom line here, to me, is that this man does represent, unfortunately, the majority view on gay rights at this point in time, and Obama would be a failure before even starting if he didn’t recognize that and make them feel heard and welcomed at the inauguration. (This is probably even a bigger deal for the pro-life issue than the gay marriage issue — the religious right is probably terrified that by next year abortions will be readily available at Wal-Mart!) So I don’t see it as comparable to inviting representative of a fringe group like the Klan…in fact, I am still able to smile at the fact that the LGBT band is no longer being considered a fringe group, by Obama at least. I’m sure the many Americans would consider it to be, but we are working on changing that, right? And if the band declines the invitation, I don’t see it as advancing that work. This seems to be what went wrong in the Prop H8 fight: we weren’t able to do the kind of outreach and seeking common ground that we needed to. Yeah, it sucks to try finding common ground with people who think you’re the same as a pedophile, but….hey, haven’t the studies kind of shown that most pedophiles are straight men, and a lot of them in the church? Projection, much?

    Just my two cents (or dollars, I guess — I kind of went on a bit!) and I’m happy to hear alternate views!

    Thanks again for all the posts,

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