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Virginia Democrats Walk Out After Homophobic Pastor Says Same Sex Marriage Provokes God's Wrath in Opening Prayer

Virginia Political Memes/YouTube

On Tuesday, a Republican in the Virginia House of Delegates invited Reverend Robert Grant Jr. of the Father's Way Church in Warrenton, Virginia to give the opening prayer.

The minister took the opportunity to share his homophobic and transphobic views.

Grant railed against same-sex marriage in particular:
Marriage is to join a biological male and a biological female in holy matrimony, not to provoke the Almighty God. Without laws to protect traditional marriage, Virginia will be reduced to increased fatherless children and welfare victims and homelessness, a tax burden to us all."

A Democratic delegate yelled:

"Is this a prayer or a sermon?"

Rather than listen to his hate speech, Democratic legislators walked out. The prayer was then cut short with a decisive bang of the Speaker's gavel.

You can watch Grant's full remarks here.

The legislature had recently approved an LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination law.

It's unclear if that motivated GOP delegate Michael Webert to invite the homophobic and transphobic minister to give the opening prayer.

What was clear was Democrats were not willing to listen to his hate speech.

Many questioned if opening prayers should be eliminated from legislative sessions in a secular government.

Speaking to the press afterward, a member of Grant's entourage advocated the death penalty for LGBTQ people. While the rhetoric of hate is not new, it's still deplorable.

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