Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday walked out of an opening prayer after a pastor invited by a Republican lawmaker took the opportunity to attack them for their stances on abortion and LGBT marriage.
Virginia Mercury reports that the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Grant Jr. of The Father’s Way Church in Warrenton, Virginia used the opening prayer in the chamber to rail against legalized abortion and gay marriage, while accusing proponents of both of inviting God's "wrath" to strike their state.
"Is this a prayer or a sermon?" yelled one person on the Democratic side of the chamber during the sermon, according to Virginia Mercury.
"It was totally disrespectful to all of us, all of us in this House,” Democratic Delegate Luke Torian, who is himself a pastor, told Virginia Mercury.
Rev. Grant, who was invited by Republican Delegate Michael Webert, was unapologetic when asked by reporters.
“I think that the statehouse belongs to all the citizens. And all the citizens have a voice,” Grant said. “If it’s my turn to have a voice, and I am a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don’t want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don’t invite one.”
One of the men who accompanied Grant then yelled at reporters about "sodomy," according to Virginia Mercury.