A gay and lesbian marching band from Washington has accepted an invitation to march in President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural parade on Jan. 20.
D.C.'s Different Drummers will be part of a 177-piece band formed by the national Lesbian and Gay Band Association. It will be the first gay band to march in a presidential inaugural parade.
Gay and lesbian bands performed during both of Bill Clinton's inaugurals but did not march in the Pennsylvania Avenue parade.
Obama has recently been criticized by gay and lesbian advocates for his choice of pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. Warren is an outspoken opponent of gay marriage.
The band selection process was conducted by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which enlisted the help of experienced military musicians to assess an unprecedented 1,400 marching bands, drill teams and musical groups that submitted applications to appear in the parade.
Different Drummers was formed in 1980 and has performed across the country, as well as in the local Capital Pride and Palisades July 4 parades. The Lesbian and Gay Band Association was founded in 1982 and now has 34 member bands.