Louis Giglio, a Georgia-based pastor who had been selected to give the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration, has dropped out from the program after reports that he gave an anti-gay sermon in the 1990s.
Giglio’s decision comes after the liberal blog ThinkProgress unearthed a sermon in which he encouraged Christians to fight homosexuality being “accepted as a norm in our society and … given full standing as any other lifestyle.”
In a statement, Giglio said he was concerned his inaugural prayer would be “dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”
“Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation,” Giglio said. “I will continue to pray regularly for the president, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day.”