Earlier this week, the Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives asked
Bradlee Dean to give the morning prayer.
Dean is the head of a hard-rock ministry that does controversial presentations in schools
about the ills of teen pregnancy, abortion and other things. Dean also has a radio show, where he's effectively called for
the murder of GLBT people. (He has since tried to back-pedal
on these statements, but still maintains that homosexuality should be illegal
, and that gays want to
molest children, and that anti-bullying efforts are a way to "go after the kids".)
Dean's prayer implied that
President Obama isn't Christian, and was thoroughly sectarian. After the prayer, and once it came to light who Dean is, House Republians quickly repudiated
his statements; the Representative who invited Dean said he'd made
"an honest mistake", but it's clear that Dean is not
an outlier in state Republican circles. Michele Bachmann (US Representative for Minnesota's
Sixth District) has prayed in favor of
his organization, and done fundraisers
for them; and Tom Emmer (Republican candidate for Governor, last time around) has donated money
to Dean's organization and called them "nice people"
Dean's murderous statements. All this, just as the Minnesota legislature is pushing for
a Constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, and while the state is dealing with
a large number of GLBT youth suicides.
This is a hard time to be GLBT in Minnesota. It's possible
, though, that Dean's prayer may short-circuit Republican efforts to ban gay marriage.