Rev. Rick Warren, Obama's controversial pick to give the invocation prayer at his inauguration, appears to be relishing the national spotlight.

Just as the controversy surrounding Warren was beginning to subside, and with the cover of a major holiday just hours away, the preacher released a video on the Internet sure to draw the attention of the gay blogosphere and left media.

On Wednesday, the Warren choice lit up gay blogging sites like, which immediately began constructing a substantial anti-gay biography on him. They pointed out that his evangelical Saddleback megachurch in Southern California will not accept gays and lesbians as members, he supports the controversial ex-gay movement that claims gays can be “cured” through prayer, and, most importantly, he supported the passage of Proposition 8 – the California constitutional amendment banning gay marriage that has sparked national, even international, protests.

Warren's support for the measure included likening gay marriage to an incestuous relationship, pedophilia and even polygamy.

Joe Solmonese, president of Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay and lesbian gay rights advocate, called the Warren choice “disrespectful” of gays, while openly gay Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank (Democrat) said the pick was a mistake.

“Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair,” Rep. Frank said on CNN's Late Edition.

“If he was inviting the Rev. Warren to participate in a forum and to make a speech, that would be a good thing,” Frank said. “But being singled out to give the prayer at the inauguration is a high honor. It has traditionally given a mark of great respect. And, yes, I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect.”

Solmonese urged Obama to reconsider; instead the President-elect defended his pick, saying on Thursday that “it is important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues,” and reiterated that he remains a “fierce” advocate of gay rights.

But on Sunday, with everyone having weighed in on the issue, Warren resurfaced with a new video and a more incendiary tone.

In the 22-minute video, released on his church's website in a nook called Pastor Rick's News & Views, Obama's choice to lead the nation in prayer makes a strong, if odd, defense for himself – at one point saying he “loves gays.”

“I have been accused of equating gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia,” Warren says. “Now, of course, as members of Saddleback church, you know I believe no such thing. I never have. You've never once heard me in 30 years talk that way about that.”

Internet surfers watching this video need only click over to to verify otherwise. There, in an interview with editor Steven Waldman, Warren said: “I'm opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.”

“Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?” Waldman asked.

“Oh, I do,” Warren answered.

Warren's new video also takes aim at his critics: “A lot of you have written to me this week and said: Rick, how are you going to respond to all these false accusations and attacks, outright lies and hateful slander, and really a lot of hate speech. It's what I would call christophobia – people who are afraid of any Christian.”

Despite the fact that the story was never about Rick Warren per se (the story is about Obama's miscalculation at taking gay and lesbian support for granted; if that's what he's done), bloggers took the bait, dissecting the video frame by frame, and giving Warren the extra 15 minutes he sought.

Discussing the new video, and its timing, on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, The Nation writer Katha Pollitt said: “He is not going to shrink away. This is a big opportunity for him.”

Openly lesbian Rachel Maddow has called on Obama to reconsider, calling Warren “the wrong choice.”