After exposure of a 1990 sermon given by Louis Giglio, in which he advocated for harmful “ex-gay” therapy and for the prevention of LGBTQ people being “accepted as a norm in our society,” he has withdrawn his acceptance of the invitation to give the benediction at President Obama’s second inauguration. In his statement of withdrawal, Giglio does not retract or apologize for his anti-gay statements, but only claims that they are not his priority. He also gives as his reason for withdrawal the prediction that his words will become a distraction because of people “seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”
Here is the statement made on behalf of the inauguration committee:
We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.
There is a trend among those who share Louis Giglio’s views to claim that by rejecting their participation because they exclude others from the human family, the administration (or any other entity that says thanks, but no thanks) is not practicing “inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.” It doesn’t work that way (although expect that claim to be made any second now). This is just a version of the occasional dim commenter who says something like “You said that Delgaudio runs a hate group! That means you run a hate group!” No, pointing out that someone’s habitual defamation of a group of people constitutes hate does not itself constitute hate, and the explicit behavior of excluding and denigrating a group of people is not a basis on which a person can demand inclusion and acceptance.