Minn. speaker apologizes after prayer by pastor

Published 11:34 am Friday, May 20, 2011

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers is apologizing for a prayer in his chamber by a central Minnesota pastor who previously made controversial remarks about gay people.

Zellers released a statement about an hour after the opening prayer by Bradlee Dean saying he was offended at that Dean “does not represent my values or the values of this state.” The prayer came on a day when the House may take up a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota.

Dean’s prayer made numerous references to Jesus Christ in violation of House custom. In an interview last year, Dean called homosexuals predators and molesters. After Dean’s prayer, Zellers asked the regular House chaplain to pray again. It was not immediately clear who invited Dean to pray at the start of the session.

Email newsletter signup