Melissa Etheridge meets Rick Warren

In a blog post about the conversation, Etheridge's wife comes to the controversial pastor's defense.

Topics: War Room, Rick Warren,

Not everyone is that upset about the choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. Melissa Etheridge, a longtime advocate for gay rights who is herself a lesbian, recently spoke with Warren, and — judging from a blog post about the conversation written by Etheridge’s wife — she seems ready to forgive and forget.

An excerpt from Tammy Lynn Michaels’ post, which I’ve left un-edited:

so honey met rick warren last night. well, she spoke to him on the phone beforehand, giving us insight into the man the media has made our latest “HE HATES YOU!” target. if i sit real still and think about it.. it’s almost like reverse smear-the-queer… at times, it seems that the media presents us with target after target to smear, as if to say to us, “THIS IS THE GUY HOLDING YOU BACK!! GO GIT ‘IM!!!” and it does seem that my lovely gay family is so bruised and bettered and ready to fight back (myself included), that we attack and deem someone ANTI-GAY, and ready to SMEAR, simply when they don’t want the word “marriage” brought into our gay ceremonies. now, if the person doesn’t want gays AT ALL, then i’m gonna chase that one down. but, i’m starting to think that there are indeed some people… some well-meaning and loving people… who are not at all ANTI-GAY, that’s not why they don’t want the word marriage used… they are merely RELIGIOUS. and for religious (archaic) reasons, they want to stay safe and respectful to WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT.

let me try to differentiate the two.

let’s say i am wearing a baseball cap. now what if i want to call it a yamaka? you know- it’s basically the same thing, but one is missing the sun visor. i don’t call my caps yamakas… cuz that is a religious name for a hat that is worn by religious people. now if i apply that thinking to this situation…. i would like to think of it as…. if they afford us the EXACT SAME RIGHTS, then who cares what it’s called? … joel and hanna can have a piece of paper with the word MARRIAGE on it, and all 1200 rights… and i can have a piece of paper with who-cares on it, and all 1200 rights. the word marriage is a religious, holy, word that people who go to church on sundays are told belongs to them. like yamaka, menorah, or matzo.

rick is not a televangelist. rick is not falwell. rick spoke of some “stupid” things he’s said (his word, not mine), some missquotes that were given, and lots of ammunition from the media. all excellent points. (we’re all war-minded right now, you know. it’s easy for the media to distract us by throwing us into our own verbal wars here at home.) ) what to do, what to do…. the rest of the public is given an animation of rick warren… and then my wife meets the man behind the projections, the quotes, the “OTHER SIDE”. and he is warm, caring, effusive, and LOVES gays. since he nearly swallowed honey when he hugged her, i tend to believe him. he wants our gay marriages to be just as respected and embraced as the straight marriages. he just wants to wear his yamaka, and me wear my hat.

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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