OLYMPIA, Wash. - The opening prayer of Monday's State Senate's 2013 session included language that was interpreted by some Senate Democrats as an attack on marriage equality.
Washington state voters upheld marriage equality in November.
The invocation, given by Pastor Jon Sanné of Olympia's Calvary Chapel, called for a strengthening of marriage "as You ordained it for our good and Your glory."
>>> Watch Pastor Sanné prayer here.
Minority leader Ed Murray, D-Seattle, released the following statement in response to the prayer:
"I find it regrettable that we begin the 2013 session on a divisive note. In the Senate, we have a long tradition of offering an invocation as a moment for all of us to come together before setting out to debate the tough policy issues of the day. The invocation is meant to be inclusive of all and is not intended to provide a platform for political views. The loaded phrase "strengthen marriage as You ordained it for our good and Your glory" is intended as negative commentary about gays and lesbians, and has no business being included in a prayer before this institution."
The Seattle Times reported that Republican leader Mark Schoesler invited Sanné to give the invocation.
"I asked him to speak, and I don't censor prayer," Schoesler told the Seattle Times.