The Washington Times - January 20, 2009, 12:19PM

The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of California’s Saddleback Church, heralded the nation’s peaceful transfer of power and the landmark inauguration of its first black president Tuesday, but dodged the issue of gay marriage in his presidential invocation.

Mr. Warren, who was targeted by gay and lesbian groups for not opposing gay marriage, danced around the topic of sexuality Tuesday, while invoking Jesus Christ in his brief remarks.

“We are Americans united not by race, or religion, or blood, but with freedom,” Mr. Warren said.

He ended his invocation reciting the “Our Father.”