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Obama Defends Rick Warren's Inaugural Invocation Plans

Barack Obama defended his choice of California megapastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at next month's Inauguration, responding to severe outcry from gay rights advocates and liberals.

"I am a fierce advocate of equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on and something that I intend to continue to be consistent on in my presidency," Obama said at a news conference this morning. "What I've also said is that it is important for American to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues."

Gay rights advocates angrily denounced Obama's choice of Warren, who is an opponent of abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

"Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans," the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote to Obama yesterday. "[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda ...

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