The Presidential Inaugural Committee has confirmed that the Rev. Luis León will give the benediction during Barack Obama‘s inauguration ceremony on January 21.
According to the Huffington Post:
León’s own parish is known for welcoming openly gay members. The church, which has openly gay, non-celibate priests and has had a gay bishop, announced this summer that it would bless same-sex partnerships and ordain transgender priests. This month, the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal church, announced that it would also begin same-sex marriage ceremonies.
The First Family often attends León’s services at St. John’s Church, an Episcopal parish near the White House, nicknamed the “church of the presidents” as every president since James Madison has attended services there, though not all have been members.
This won’t be Rev. León’s first time at the inaugural rodeo since in 2005 he delivered George W. Bush’s benediction., but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his share of nerves.
“You don’t get used to this. I’m just as nervous now as I was the first time,” León told CNN. “From the moment someone asks you to do that, your wheels are spinning with what to say. So my wheels were spinning now.”