Feminist and LGBT Leaders Voice Outrage Over Rick Warren Selection
Feminist and LGBT activists expressed outrage following Wednesday's announcement that Reverend Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor of California's Saddleback Church, will deliver the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony on January 20th.
In a letter to Obama, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese wrote, "by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table." Warren strongly supported Proposition 8, writing in an e-mail to his parishioners, "there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about." He also compared homosexuality to pedophilia, incest, and polygamy in an interview with Beliefnet.
Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, expressed feminist concern saying "America is coming together for the historic Inauguration. Providing a visible ceremonial leadership role to a man who has chosen to use religion to divide rather than unite people is deeply troubling and disappointed." Warren, a prominent opponent of reproductive rights, has referred to legal abortion as a holocaust." He has taken the extreme position that efforts to reduce abortion rates are merely "a charade."
Media Resources: New York Times 12/17/08; Human Rights Campaign 12/17/08; Beliefnet Interview with Rick Warren; Baptist Press 10/27/08; Interview with Eleanor Smeal 12/18/08
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .