As Minnesota lawmakers debate whether there should be a ballot initiative to ban marriage equality in 2012, a notoriously antigay preacher was invited to say the opening prayer Friday morning, sparking outrage and concern on both sides of the aisle.
Bradlee Dean, founder of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International ministry, was the guest chaplain Friday. He did not mention homosexuality during his prayer, but took a dig at President Barack Obama and talked about the U.S. Constitution.
"I know this is a non-denominational prayer in this chamber, it's not about the Baptists, it's not about the Catholics alone, or the Lutherans or the Wesleyans or the Presbyterians or Evangelicals but rather the head of the denomination, and his name is Jesus -- as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged, and we pray it in Jesus' name," Dean said, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
In the past, Dean has called gay people "criminal predators" who supposedly molest an average of 117 children before getting caught by authorities. He's also said that Muslim countries that execute gay people are "more moral than even the American Christians."
Dean was invited by Republican Rep. Ernie Leidiger to say the opening prayer, causing outrage by members of the Republican and Democratic-Farmer-Labor parties. Republican house Speaker Kurt Zellers said he was so displeased with Dean's prayer that he restarted the house session, and had their regular chaplain say a prayer.
"Earlier today, a prayer was given by a man I personally denounce," Zellers said. "That type of person will never, ever be allowed on the house floor again. You have my commitment, you have my personal apology."