US: Anti-gay pastor pulls out of Obama inauguration

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Reverend Louie Giglio, who had been announced as the pastor to give the benediction at President Obama’s second inauguration, has now pulled out of the ceremony, after criticism of his previous anti-gay comments.

Thinkprogress revealed on Wednesday audio of Giglio delivering a sermon in the mid-1990s in which he said homosexuality is a sin and advocated gay “recovery.”

The sermon was titled ‘In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality.’

In it, the pastor, who is from the Georgia-based Passion City Church, said: “We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but of many in the homosexual community…Underneath this issue is a very powerful and aggressive moment.

“That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to family.”

Earlier this week, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced gay Latino poet Richard Blanco would recite a poem at this month’s inauguration.