LGBT Inclusion in Today’s Inaugural Prayer Service
January 22, 2013 by Sharon Groves, Director, Religion and Faith Program
Seven years ago when I began at HRC, religious voices were seen largely as a problem. LGBT people struggled to draw spiritual sustenance from their faith community and also be true to themselves. Now we are seeing religion called to inspire everyone to live up to our higher selves as a community.
President Obama spoke beautifully to this yesterday and it has been reinforced by our religious leaders.
Rev. Luis León, a priest at St. John’s Church, which is known for welcoming LGBT members, offered for the first time at an inauguration a benediction that included a mention of gay people. León is an original member of DC Clergy for Marriage Equality, which HRC helped to form.
Today at the fifty-seventh presidential inaugural prayer service at Washington National Cathedral, the moderator for the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, a pioneer in the LGBT faith movement, presented the first reading.
Additionally, the Cathedral, the most visible faith community within the Episcopal Church, recently announced it would celebrate the weddings of gay and lesbian couples.
HRC President Chad Griffin also attended the service.
LGBT people and clergy are still barred from the doors of many congregations or in the closet in their own communities, but we are also seeing a historic change when LGBT people and religious leaders are calling on us to be our most compassionate and holy selves.