The evangelical pastor chosen to give the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration has withdrawn after anti-gay remarks he made two decades ago surfaced.
The Rev. Louie Giglio (pictured) said in a statement Thursday that he’s withdrawing because he thinks the message of mercy he intended will be dwarfed by attention to his past comments.
Audio of the sermon was posted Wednesday by the liberal website ThinkProgress. In the sermon, Giglio condemns what he called the aggressive pressure to condone the “homosexual lifestyle.”
Addie Whisenant, a spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, says the committee had chosen Giglio because of his work to end human trafficking. Whisenant says the committee wasn’t aware of Giglio’s past comments when they invited him. The inauguration takes place on Jan. 21.