Though the Obama inauguration is officially on Tuesday, the festivities start on Sunday with We Are One, a celebration of the inauguration from the Lincoln Memorial. HBO is televising it, and inviting its cable carriers to make the broadcast available to all its carriers — meaning that you’ll be able to see it on HBO even if you don’t subscribe to it.
As you might expect, there are a number of great performers and entertainers coming together to celebrate this historic and wonderful moment. But I’ll be watching for one “star” in particular — Gene Robinson, the nation’s first openly gay Episcopal bishop, who will be delivering an invocation to help usher in the inauguration.
This excellent NPR segment from a few days ago will give you a sense of his eloquence and his compassion. His participation in the inauguration is certainly welcome for those of us who support gay rights, and I encourage you to make your family and friends aware of Robinson’s part in this celebration.
Obviously, we still have a long way to go in our journey to achieve equal rights for our LGBT brothers and sisters. The very existence of our Dear Obama campaign shows the need for us to stand up and speak out. Those of us encouraged by Bill Clinton becoming President in 1993 remember all too well the fight over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the disappointment in the lack of significant advancement for LGBT rights. Obama becoming President won’t magically bring us to LGBT equality. It will, however, give us a leader who is not only an embodiment of civil rights progress for African-Americans, but also a leader who is open to hearing the call for LGBT civil rights. Sunday’s invocation by Robinson will be an encouraging reminder of this, and I look forward to hearing his message of hope.