Having hoped to view the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church, deliver the historic opening to the inaugural ceremonies in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, I TiVoed the HBO broadcast of it. In truth, I wanted to be present at that event more than the Inauguration itself because of the gay historical significance.
When I returned home Sunday from a trip upstate for family obligations, I quickly turned on my TV to watch a moment in history that, for me, was a 40-year journey. As I watched in anticipation, there was no Bishop Robinson. I watched again. I fast-forwarded, I reversed it, but no Robinson anywhere on the broadcast.
Thinking that I somehow missed something, I waited to see if one of my trusty LGBT news sources reported on it. About a half-hour later, Rex Wockner issued a bulletin. Then the e-mails from friends started. This is the tone they took:
“Personally, I’m going to ‘blackout’ tomorrow’s inaugural ceremony. Nothing short of a public apology from Obama is acceptable. He’ll never have my vote again.”
The next morning, the blogs Queerty and Pam’s House Blend reported that HBO had stated it was the Inaugural Committee’s decision not to broadcast the “pre-show.”
Whatever the reason, it is inexcusable. For gays and lesbians, we hoped Robinson’s opening prayer would make up for Warren’s invocation at the inauguration.
HBO has now re-edited the tape and Robinson is in … Was this just a speed bump? Only time will tell.
Mark Segal is PGN publisher. He can be reached at [email protected].