William White and the Warren Court
I understand why gay rights activists are upset with Obama's invitation to Rick Warren to give the inauguration invocation. The man has a huge following and has used his pulpit to spread some extremely offensive opinions about homosexuality. It doesn't help that Prop 8 is still fresh in everyone's minds.
On the other hand, gay Americans (and everyone else) are going to have to come to the realization that we voted for a uniter. If you're a Democrat, then you voted for a uniter who is in the process of trying to make the Democratic Party into the permanent majority party. Both of these realities are going to cause a lot of heartache. If you have a big tent, chances are you're going to bring in a lot of people you disagree with.
There's a reason why many on the right are also upset with Warren for accepting the invitation-- they know this could give the Democrats an opening to court Evangelicals in areas where there's a lot of possible agreement. When Warren invited Barack out to Saddleback Church in 2006 to discuss the global AIDS crisis, the right was up in arms over that decision as well, wary of the Pastor giving the abortion rights-supporting Senator such a platform.
The fact is that Pastor Warren will not be serving in an Obama administration, and won't be making decisions for the Obama presidency. If anything, this pick gives Barack room to advance the rights and interests of homosexuals, by coming across yet again as less of a typical anti-Christian, anti-middle America lefty, and hopefully making some former opponents a little more amenable to his decisions. Many of those decisions will inevitably be good for gays and will move the nation closer to one that is accepting of homosexuals. There are now rumors floating about that Barack will choose William White-- an openly gay man-- to become the next Secretary of the Navy. While this position is a civilian post, it's hard to miss the symbolism here, or to understand what the choice could help accomplish.
If everything goes according to Barack's plans, eight years from now the Democratic Party will have a few more Evangelicals within its ranks, and there will be less animosity and discrimination towards gay Americans than there is today.