In Defense of Warren

Barney Frank is deeply offended by Rick Warren, and he wants to the world to know it. On CNN’s Late Edition yesterday, Representative Frank criticized President-elect Obama for inviting Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. According to Frank,

Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair. If [Obama] was inviting the Reverend Warren to participate in a forum and to make a speech, that would be a good thing. But being singled out to give the prayer at the inauguration is a high honor. It has traditionally been given as a mark of great respect. And, yes, I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect.

What has Frank and other gay rights advocates riled up is that Warren backed a California ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage (the measure was approved by voters last month). In the course of defending his stand, Warren has made the point that there are lots of arrangements one could envision consenting adults wanting–from polygamy to incest–that we would not want to label “marriage.” In making that comparison, gay rights advocates have decided to try to turn the Reverend Warren into a reviled figure. Let’s therefore try to examine the argument Warren is making.

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In Defense of Warren

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