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David Corn: Obama went too far

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David Corn weighs in on the Rick Warren brouhaha. David makes an excellent point. The problem isn't that Obama talks to Rick Warren, or even meets with Rick Warren. Hell, if Obama wants to meet with Ahmadinejad, more power to him. But I don't see him inviting the Iranian leader to the inauguration dais. There's a difference between reaching out to bad guys and legitimizing them.

By all means, Obama should work with Rick Warren when there is common cause. For political reasons, he should not eschew Warren because of his anti-gay views. Warren can be a powerful ally when it comes time to persuade the public to support climate change legislation. Success in governing often depends on forging coalitions with those with whom you disagree.

But Warren's opposition to gay rights is more than a mere policy dispute. It is an act of bigotry. Sure, Warren does not believe he is being discriminatory. But that's what it is. He is denying rights to certain Americans because he disapproves of how they love. By handing Warren this prime slot at the inauguration, Obama is saying that he recognizes Warren as a spiritual leader and is reaffirming Warren's position as such. This is an insult to gay Americans and those who support equal rights in this nation.

Simple question: would Obama allow a minister who opposed granting equal rights to interracial couples to deliver the invocation at his inauguration?

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