Anger at Rick Warren, Not Obama

Chad Griffin, whose political consultancy encompasses entertainment and politics, was named one of the Advocate’s People of the Year for 2008. Among other things, the magazine cited his work on defeating Proposition 8, which included rounding up star donors like Brad Pitt and Steve Bing, and coming up with ads featuring Diane Feinstein.

In the post Prop 8 environment, Griffin has been outspoken in criticizing those who donated and supported the Yes on 8 campaign, so I wanted to ask him today what he thought of Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his swearing in ceremony. This weekend, there are plans for a candlelight vigil in Los Angeles to protest Obama’s move.

Griffin offers words of caution, and says, “I think right now it is too early to direct any protest at the president elect. The protest should be directed at Rick Warren himself.”

He’s requested a meeting with Warren but has yet to hear back.

Griffin singled out recent comments made by Warren to Beliefnet that compared same-sex marriage to incest and polygamy (below). “Such extreme discriminatory and homophobic remarks are powerful and dangerous,” Griffin said.

But he said it would be unfair to assume that Obama shares those views. Warren’s statements appear to have caught many off guard, and perhaps even to those on the Inaugural Committee. “My belief is that (Warren’s) extreme views were not known by most people, and were not know by those in Washington and others,” Griffin said.

Rather than call on Obama to drop Warren from the program, he thinks Warren should apologize for some of his statements, or voluntarily step aside from the swearing-in ceremony.

Update: California Attorney General Jerry Brown this evening offered an extraordinary legal brief arguing that “the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification.” Ken Starr, representing backers of Proposition 8, argued that the existing 18,000 marriages should be invalidated.

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