President Obama has replaced conservative, anti-LGBT Rev. Louie Giglio with pro-LGBT Rev. Luis Leon to deliver the benediction at the upcoming inauguration on January 21st.
The original choice of Giglio caused a bit of an uproar in the lgbt community as audio tape of the conservative evangelical surfaced in which he spoke out against the “aggressive agenda” of the gay community and went on to say that gay people could change their lifestyle “through the healing power of Jesus.” Giglio asked out of the inauguration fearing that his prayer would be "dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration."
Leon's parish is known for welcoming openly gay members. The church has had a gay bishop, blesses same-sex marriages and has stated that it would ordain transgender priests.
Both President Obama (and his family) and former President George W. Bush (and his family) have attended Rev. Leon’s Episcopal church on a fairly regular basis.
Leon was baptized into the Episcopal Church in Guantanamo, Cuba. In 1961, when he was 12 years old, he came to the U.S. and settled in Miami. A graduate of the University of the South, he has a Masters in Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary, and in 1999 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of the South. He is well known for teaching courses nationwide in parish building and stewardship
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