Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio has back out of delivering the benediction at President Obama's swearing-in ceremony, as controversy focused on past anti-gay comments he made in a sermon posted online.
Per the Washington Post, he said, “It is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda a focal point of the inauguration. Though the president and I do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms.”
The Presidential Inaugural Committee issued a statement, saying, “We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.“
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, said, "It was the right decision. Participants in the Inaugural festivities should unite rather than divide. Choosing an affirming and fair-minded voice as his replacement would be in keeping with the tone the president wants to set for his Inaugural."