UPDATE (1/10/13, 12:50 PM): After this story was filed, Reverend Louie Giglio withdrew from the inaugural ceremonies after criticism regarding a sermon he gave in the 1990s in which he questioned the goals of the gay rights movement. In that sermon he said the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle . . . is through the healing power of Jesus.” The Presidential Inaugural Committee, in accepting Giglio’s withdrawal, said that at the time of his selection they were “not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments.” In his withdrawal statement Giglio said his inauguration invocation would be “dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”
The lineup is coming together of individuals who will participate in the Capitol Hill
swearing-in ceremony, and the exclusive luncheon that follows, for the inauguration
Barack Obama and Vice President
Joe Biden on Monday, January 21. On the Capitol platform will be
Myrlie Evers-Williams, the former head of the NAACP and the widow of
Medgar Evers, to deliver the invocation, and
Reverend Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, who will do the benediction.
“I am humbled to have been asked to deliver the invocation for the 57th inauguration
of the President of the United States—especially in light of this historical time
in America when we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the civil-rights movement,”
Evers-Williams said in a statement released by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
“It is indeed an exhilarating experience to have the distinct honor of representing
Chuck Schumer, who oversees the Congressional responsibilities for the inauguration, has invited
Luis Cortes to deliver the opening prayer at the Statuary Hall luncheon that follows the swearing-in.
Cortes is the founder of Esperanza, which was described by the Joint Congressional
Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies as “the largest Hispanic faith-based evangelical
network in the United States.” Cortes will be joined by a leader of the Greek Orthodox
Archbishop Demetrios, who has been invited by Schumer to offer the benediction at the luncheon.
Earlier it was announced that Chief Justice
John Roberts will administer the oath of office to President Obama, as he did four years ago.
Vice President Biden chose Justice
Sonia Sotomayor to swear him in for a second term. The ceremonies begin at approximately 11 AM, and
the President takes the oath at noon.