Keeping The Gay Pastor’s Prayer Off the Record

Last week, we pointed to an article regarding Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern’s appearance at a John Birch Society conference during which he proclaimed that she had discovered the gay agenda in a book called “After the Ball” and calling for a spiritual awakening in America, saying that “only then does our nation have a chance of overcoming the scourge of AIDS, HIV and the devastating destruction that the homosexual lifestyle is bringing on your children and our grandchildren.”

Now, via Pam’s House Blend, we see that, in response to Kern’s statements, Scott Jones, pastor of the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, penned an op-ed explaining that what gays really want is equal treatment, nothing more:

There are more than 1,100 civil rights heterosexuals enjoy that are denied to those of us who are LGBT. Most of those rights heterosexuals don’t even realize they have and would not be aware of until they were denied access to them — rights like visiting your loved ones in the hospital or inheriting the home that you and your spouse share when one of you dies. LGBT couples have to spend about $10,000 in legal fees to create the various legal arrangements to get around some of these inequalities, but others can’t be gotten around.

Jones was invited by Rep. Al McAffrey, who is also gay, to deliver a prayer before Wednesday’s House session and that is when things got interesting as conservatives in the House tried to prevent Jones’ prayer from being recorded in the House record:

The Rev. Scott Jones thanked his legislator, Rep. Al McAffrey, who asked him to pray to open Wednesday’s House session and acknowledged several in the gallery – “dear friends, my wonderful parents, and my loving partner and fiance, Michael.”

When McAffrey, D-Oklahoma City, asked in the session’s closing minutes that Jones’ prayer be made part of the House journal, the chamber’s official record, Rep. John Wright objected and called for a vote.

With 16 members having already left, the House voted 64-20 to include Jones’ prayer in the House journal.

Among those voting no was Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, who a year ago called homosexuality the biggest threat facing the United States.

“I’m sure that because most of Scott’s congregation are gay people and Scott is gay himself, I’m sure that’s the reason why there were negative votes on it,” McCaffrey said.

Other than Jones introducing his male partner, McCaffrey said he couldn’t’ see how anyone could have a problem with his prayer.

“I don’t know what was controversial over that.”

Contacted later, Wright, R-Broken Arrow, said the practice of including a minister’s prayer in the House journal usually is reserved for Thursdays, the last workday for legislators.

“It has not been the practice to put every day’s prayer in the House journal,” he said.

He conceded he didn’t concur with comments made by Jones, who except for his opening comments, gave a generic prayer to a “holy and everliving God” and paraphrased the prophet Isaiah.

“I don’t know if it’s important to create an inflammatory issue out of something because that is not my intent,” he said.

Wright said his motion was “not meant to be derogatory nor divisive nor in any way trying to cause diminishment of someone’s sense of self-worth.”

“My actions were motivated by the faith, so now if you want to take it and cause the public to be inflamed about it, well, that’s at your feet,” Wright said.

McAffrey, the Legislature’s only openly gay member, said he’s never heard a legislator object to a prayer being made part of the House journal during his three years there.