Tonight, there are confirmed reports that the Presidential Inaugural Committee has found a new benediction deliverer for Monday's Inauguration festivities, and his name is Rev. Dr. Luis León, the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. He replaces the rabid homophobic bigot Louie Giglio, who resigned from his Inauguration duties due to his vehemently anti-LGBTQ comments, including but not limited to: advocation for dangerous "ex-gay" conversion therapy that were said in the 1990s.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee has selected the Rev. Luis León, an Episcopal priest in Washington, to deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21, replacing the Rev. Louie Giglio, the Atlanta pastor who bowed out after controversy erupted over an anti-gay sermon he gave in the mid-1990s.USAToday.com:
León, who ministers at St. John’s Church, an Episcopal parish near the White House and the one that Obama most frequently attends with his family, confirmed his selection to The Huffington Post via phone on Tuesday night.
“I’ll be doing it,” said León, who declined to elaborate until the news was officially announced. A source close to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, speaking on background because the news had not been announced, confirmed the selection of León to The Huffington Post. The source said the official announcement would be made in coming days. The selection was first reported by CNN.
The choice is a contrast to Giglio, a conservative evangelical who was until last week best known for his work combating human trafficking. That work was eclipsed when reports and audio emerged of a Giglio sermon in which he spoke out against the “aggressive agenda” of the gay community and said gay people could change their sexual orientation “through the healing power of Jesus.”
Luis León, pastor of Saint John's Church, a historic Episcopal church just steps from the White House, was invited to take the role after the pastor originally selected withdrew.
Atlanta megachurch pastor Louie Giglio removed his name from the program after his years-old sermons against gay marriage came to light.
The pastor who gave the invocation at Obama's 2009 inauguration, Rev. Rick Warren, angered gay rights advocates with his opposition to same-sex marriage. But in the intervening years, the president changed his own views and now supports the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Friday, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will release the names of clergy and religious leaders who will offer prayers and give the homily at the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday.