KEY POINTS

  • State Democrats stormed out of the Virginia House chamber Tuesday
  • A black pastor condemned abortion and gay marriage through prayer
  • Republicans state law requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a mandatory ultrasound 24 hours beforehand

For Democrats, unity means being pro-choice and supporting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people. If one disagrees with these views, that person has no room in the party. That position has been reinforced in this election cycle most notably by presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and National Chairman Tom Perez. Some say this exclusivity hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016. While the 2020 chapter is still being written some early results suggest Democrats have a religion problem. 

Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates walked out in the middle of the traditional prayer Feb. 11 as a black pastor condemned abortion and homosexuality, Daily Caller reported. Democratic Del. Delores McQuinn said it "felt like condemnation.” According to The Virginia Mercury, one delegate on the Democratic side of the chamber could be heard shouting, "Is this a prayer or a sermon?"

Democrats control the Virginia governorship, Senate and House for the first time in 26 years. They are pushing a liberal agenda through including repealing a Republican-imposed state law requiring that women seeking an abortion to undergo a mandatory ultrasound 24 hours beforehand and supporting gay marriage.

Rev. Robert M. Grant Jr., pastor at The Father’s Way Church in Warrenton, Virginia, prayed and urged the lawmakers to protect the biblical definition of marriage as they prepared to continue to push through a slew of bills before deadline. "Marriage is to join a biological male and a biological female in holy matrimony, not to provoke the almighty God," Grant said.

The pastor supported his actions by saying the “statehouse belongs to all the citizens.” He added all citizens have a voice, “If it’s my turn to have a voice and I’m a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don’t want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don’t invite one.”

Grant then switched to gay marriage, saying, “We should never rewrite what God has declared.” He also prayed that the state would “always protect the biblical definition of marriage” between one man and one woman.

“Is this a prayer or a sermon?” one delegate yelled during the invocation. Others walked out of the chamber altogether, while Democratic Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn ended the prayer by banging her gavel and shifting immediately into the Pledge of Allegiance.

Democratic Del. Luke Torian called the prayer “totally disrespectful to all of us, all of us in this House."

Grant, on the other hand, defended his prayer, saying he was simply speaking the truth. “I think that [the] statehouse belongs to all the citizens. And all the citizens have a voice,” Grant said. “If it’s my turn to have a voice, and I am a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don’t want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don’t invite one.”

Visitors walk out of the grounds of Virginia's State Capitol in Richmond, near a sign advising that a state of emergency prohibits possession of firearms and other weapons in Capitol Square Visitors walk out of the grounds of Virginia's State Capitol in Richmond, near a sign advising that a state of emergency prohibits possession of firearms and other weapons in Capitol Square Photo: AFP / Roberto SCHMIDT