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Obama to gay protesters: Rick Warren's my inauguration pastor pick

December 18, 2008 |  2:00 pm

Saddleback pastor Dr. Rick Warren with Republican president candidate Senator John McCain and Democrat presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama at the Saddleback Forum August 16 2008 Los Angeles Times photo Genaro Molina

No backing down whatsoever today from President-elect Barack Obama in the face of some strong criticism from gay and lesbian interests over his choice of Saddleback's Rick Warren for the invocation speaker at the Jan. 20 inauguration.

As pastor of his mega-church in Lake Forest, Warren was an outspoken proponent of Prop. 8, which passed on Nov. 4 and overturns a court decision allowing same-sex marriage in California.

As The Ticket reported earlier today, gay and lesbian groups, which had been key backers of Obama but largely silent on his ostentatious other moves toward the political center since winning the White House, erupted in a loud chorus of opposition to Obama's pick of Warren.

But at another news conference at his transition headquarters in Chicago today, Obama held firm, saying an important premise of his entire campaign was that different sides can disagree on some issues without being disagreeable and unable to work together on others. After all, last spring he claimed he attended the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years while disagreeing with his radical sermons, which he also said he hadn't heard.

He said he maintains his consistent support for equal rights for gays and lesbians. And he's not changing his choice of who gives the opening prayer at his historic Inauguration on the Capitol steps the morning of Jan. 20.

We'll let the president-elect speak for himself on this breaking news video just below here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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