Dozens of gay activists protested Rev. Rick Warren's appearance Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative services outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Protesters say they cannot abide Obama's choice of Warren to give the nation's prayer at his inauguration ceremony today. They say Warren is homophobic. Warren likened gay marriage to an incestuous relationship and polygamy in an interview with editor Steven Waldman, and backed passage of a controversial gay marriage ban in California.

Gay activists point out that Warren's Saddleback megachurch bans gays and lesbians from attendance, and he supports the controversial ex-gay movement that claims gays can be “cured” through prayer.

Signs outside the church read: “We still have a dream: Equality.” And protesters chanted, “Gay, straight, black or white, we demand our civil rights.”

The demonstration was the second in as many days. On Sunday, about 100 gay activists appeared outside the campus of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Outside the Lake Forest church campus demonstrators waved rainbow flags and chanted for equal rights. Parishioners attending Sunday service mostly ignored the protesters.

“President-elect Obama made a huge misjudgment [by selecting Warren],” Jenny Mirmak, an Obama supporter who demonstrated outside Saddleback Church with her husband and 7-year-old daughter, told the Los Angeles Times. “The Democratic Party has always counted on the gay and lesbian community for their votes, then thrown them under the bus once they get elected.”

“Rick Warren is not a voice of unity or equality,” Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Atlanta director Jeff Schade, who protested in Atlanta, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Kristin Cole, a spokeswoman for Warren, reminded the media of Warren's work helping HIV patients in the United States and Africa. But there too gay activists say the pastor falls short. Warren, like most evangelical pastors, supports President Bush's abstinence only AIDS initiative that denies outreach to the three most at-risk groups: gay men, sex workers and IV drug users.

Warren was introduced in Atlanta by King Center President Isaac Farris Jr. who urged critics to listen to the pastor. Farris said Warren was invited to speak at the historic church where Martin Luther King Jr. once served as pastor partly because of his efforts to solve social problems, including poverty.

But Sunsara Taylor was not interested in what The Purpose Driven Life author was about to say. Sunsara, who identified herself as a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party, began shouting “No common ground with bigot Rick Warren” as he approached the podium. She was quickly ushered outside.

In a January 12 blog post at the Saddleback Church website, Warren said he would “out-love” the protesters: “Never forget that everything we do is all about connecting people to God and that Jesus loves and died for all those angry people who are attacking me. We will respond with nothing but love for them. We will out-love those who hate us. And if being insulted brings more people to Christ, so be it.”

But at Sunday's protest, at least one church member disagreed with that philosophy. “People are saying if you really love the protesters, go out and give them doughnuts and coffee,” Casey Jones, who shouted Bible verses at the protesters, said. “And I say 'no'. I'm not going to give someone doughnuts and coffee on their way to hell.”