(AP) The evangelical pastor chosen to give the benediction atPresident Barack Obama’s inauguration withdrew from the ceremony Thursday after remarks he made two decades ago condemning the gay rights movement surfaced.

The Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta said in a statement he withdrew because it was likely that the “prayer I would offer will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”

Addie Whisenant, a spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said the committee had chosen Giglio because of his work to end human trafficking.

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