It is hard to find a more controversial gay clergyperson. While there are lots of gay clergy (yes, that's true as anti-gay persons are always astonished to learn when these folks come out of the closet), there aren't many who manage to exemplify the consistent equanimity and sensitivity toward those who would exclude him that Bishop Robinson shows.
Not surprisingly, his home town paper has the most interesting story on the bishop's invitation:
That's inclusion. I've been wondering what our new President was doing to include the non-Christian portion of the nation, not to mention the many atheists. Guess Robinson has been thinking about them too.
But the sheer fact of Bishop Robinson's inclusion wasn't the only reason for my delight. See that picture TPM used to illustrate the news? That's one I took during Bishop Gene's visit to my home parish, St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco. It sits on Flickr waiting to be used -- it's nice to see it again. I suspect the Bishop probably prefers some of the many happier images of him, but he does look very dignified here.
UPDATE, 1/19/09: Because the prayer was not included in the HBO telecast (and the sound was iffy in parts of the crowd) some people did not get to hear Bishop Robinson's invocation. Here's a YouTube [4:14]: