Pastor Rick Warren
(All About You God / Creative Commons)

The homophobic preacher chosen to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration has reached out to openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson, reports the Washington Post.

Robinson had previously described the selection by Obama of Reverend Rick Warren for the honour as a “slap in the face” but he has since also been invited to play a part in the inauguration.

On Wednesday, Warren issued a statement praising the President-elect’s decision to include Robinson, saying that Obama “has again demonstrated his genuine commitment to bringing all Americans of goodwill together in search of common ground. I applaud his desire to be the president of every citizen.”

LGBT activists have expressed outrage that Warren will play such a key role at the inauguration on January 20 in Washington, where Obama will be officially sworn into office.

Warren is opposed to gay marriage and the right to abortion. He also spoke out in support of Proposition 8, which last year banned same-sex marriage in California.

Speaking on television on Wednesday on MSNBC Robinson said that he is convinced that Obama will keep to his promise to support equal rights for gays and lesbians.

“I do feel very confident that this president-elect understands us [the gay community] and stands with us in the issues that are important to us. Of course, we’re going to hold his feet to the fire about that.”

Robinson was thrust into the spotlight when he was elected Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, despite being openly gay. He will give a prayer at the event kicking off the Obama inaugural celebrations on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

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