US: Obama’s inauguration speech attacked by anti-gay Christian group

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Christian anti-gay group has attacked the speech made by US President Barack Obama at his inauguration, during which he referred to the gay rights movement and the women’s rights movement, and went on to claim that gay people already have equal rights.

President Obama made a speech during which he which said “our journey is not complete” until equal rights for gay people is reached, and referred to the importance of the Stonewall riots in terms of moves towards equality.

The Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-gay Christian lobby group said via a spokesman that Obama was wrong to make links between the gay civil rights movement and the civil rights movements of women and African Americans, reports RawStory. 

FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg spoke with CNN host Soledad O’Brien on Tuesday, and said it was “ironic” because he claimed that gay people “already have all the same civil rights as anyone else”.

Ms O’Brien asked Mr Sprigg if there was anything that he liked about President Obama’s speech.

“We as social conservatives do not agree with the president’s attempt to link the modern homosexual movement with the women’s rights movement or the civil rights movement for African Americans,” Mr Sprigg responded. “The irony is that homosexuals already have all the same civil rights as anyone else.”

He continued: “But the fact that all people are created equal as individuals does not mean that all sexual behavior is equal or that personal relationships have an equal value to society at large, that serve the same public interests.” 

Ms O’Brien responded: “So, you know, many people would say, that’s where you’re wrong… If individuals are created equal then what individuals do is also created equal, right? If individuals are allowed to marry who are straight then individuals who are gay should also be allow to marry. Like that would follow through. Do you think that he is setting up for some kind of legislative fight on this issue?” 

Mr Sprigg then said that he thought President Obama’s “pursuit” of equal rights for gay people made it difficult to work with Congress around those issues.

He continued: “I do think he was kind of laying down the gauntlet, not really saying, let’s seek common ground, let’s find where we can agree and compromise,

“But saying, ‘This is the agenda that I have and I’m going to pursue it.’ I mean, he won the election, he has the right to do that, but I don’t think it creates the potential for really working together with Congress on a lot of these issues.”

Peter Sprigg recently said that while he would not try to block the creation of an LGBT museum in Washington DC, as long as it didn’t receive public funding. He said did not feel that it would benefit anyone.

Speaking to Tony Perkins, the president of the FRC, recently, Rick Santorum said US colleges and universities promote a “sea of antagonism towards Christianity”, and blamed that for the use of pornography and for the move towards equal marriage.

At the president’s inauguration on Monday, an openly-gay Cuban-American delivered a poem, after being chosen by Obama.

Delivering the benediction was pro-gay Reverend Luis Leon of St John’s Church, who said that all people “gay or straight” were created equal in the eyes of God.