Barack Obama isn’t just reaching across the aisle — he’s straddling it. After appointing Fred Davie, the openly gay president of the community betterment group Public/Private Ventures, to his newly formed Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, he’s also asked a leading Christian bigot to join.
Newly retired NFL coach Tony Dungy has also been asked to come aboard. Dungy, the first black coach to win a Super Bowl title, is also an outspoken Evangelical Christian who’s vocally rallied to ban same-sex marriage.
The soft-spoken Dungy sparked controversy in 2007 by endorsing an Indiana ballot initiative to ban gay marriage and similar legal arrangements for gay couples. “I feel like telling people when they look at this issue of same-sex marriage . . . I’m not on anybody’s side,” Dungy said at a 2007 banquet sponsored by the Indiana Family Institute, a conservative Christian group associated with Focus on the Family. “I’m on the Lord’s side.”
At the event, Dungy said he “embraced” the Indiana Family Institute’s support for the gay marriage ban. “IFI is saying what the Lord says,” Dungy said, accepting the group’s Friend of the Family Award. “You can take that and you can make the decision on which way you want to be.”
“We’re not trying to downgrade anyone else,” Dungy added. “But we’re trying to promote the family—family values the Lord’s way.”
He has not yet accepted nor denied the offer to join the Partnerships.