The Rev. Dr. Luis Leon from Saint John’s Church in Washington D.C. will perform the official benediction at President Barack Obama’s public inauguration on Monday, January 21. Leon will replace evangelical pastor Louie Giglio, who was originally chosen to give the benediction but backed out because of protests of his views on homosexuality.
The White House issued a statement after Giglio refused the invitation to speak, saying “as we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”
According to The Christian Post, Saint John’s Church and Leon are gay-affirming and regularly bless homosexual unions. Leon also performed the invocation at George W. Bush’s second inauguration. Leon told the media, “I think when we’re asking a blessing for this country, I think we’re asking God to lift us up, to lift up what’s good in us. To remind us of what’s good in us and remind us to do what’s proper, what’s the good the right thing for the country.”