Pastor quits Obama inauguration14 January 2013
A popular US evangelical pastor has pulled out of giving the benediction at the inauguration of President Barack Obama after a liberal website highlighted his conservative views on homosexuality.
Louie Giglio, founder and pastor of the 2,000-strong Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, said in a statement to the White House that he did not wish to "fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President's invitation."
Last Wednesday the website ThinkProgress reported that Giglio had given a sermon in the 1990s advocating "recovery" for gays in which he also called the gay rights movement "not benevolent" in advocating that "the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm".
The President's Inaugural Committee stressed the decision was Revd Giglio's and said he had been selected for "his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world".
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