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Invoking surprise

National | The House of Representatives chose May 1, the National Day of Prayer, to have its first-ever openly homosexual chaplain give its morning invocation.

Issue: "Cool hot spots," May 17, 2003

The House of Representatives chose May 1, the National Day of Prayer, to have its first-ever openly homosexual chaplain give its morning invocation. A search of the Lexis-Nexis journalistic database turned up not a single news report of the event.

Rev. Steve Torrence uttered the nine-sentence prayer in the well of the U.S. House. Rev. Torrence is a former pastor of the Metropolitan Community Churches, a predominantly homosexual denomination, and now serves as an officer and chaplain with the Key West police department. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) invited him to say the prayer that day.

MCC founder Troy Perry said it was the first time an "openly gay MCC clergyman" delivered an opening prayer in Congress. The event had symbolic significance, he suggested, because Rev. Torrence prayed for justice and equality for all U.S. citizens, including "God's gay and lesbian children," in the place where laws of the land are enacted. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen's office didn't respond to a phone call from WORLD.

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Edward E. Plowman
Edward E. Plowman

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