Mar 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - A member of the Minnesota House, opposed to gay marriage, has caused another stir with comments some have decried as offensive.
Republican Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe took the stage on the floor of the House on Monday.
His goal was to introduce a friend who he described as "active in the gay lifestyle for 10 years" before leaving it to marry a woman and start a family.
The poorly-received aside came during a routine announcement period.
Throughout the last couple of weeks, Gruenhagen has vociferously denounced gay marriage and homosexuality through multiple mediums - including the airwaves.
During a call-in to "Ox in the Afternoon," the legislator denounced the belief that homosexuality is a genetic trait, claiming those caught in a "homosexual lifestyle" could choose otherwise.
"The people who push this tend to present it as an immutable characteristic, like the color of your skin," Gruenhagen says. "But there is conclusive evidence - medical, genetic and biologic, which prove it's just an unhealthy sexual addiction."
Gruenhagen says he has friends who are "no longer gay." He explains those people made a "choice not to behave homosexually anymore."
House Speaker Paul Thissen reacted to Gruenhagen's statement by announcing he will no longer let members recognize friends, family or groups during session.
Majority Leader Erin Murphy agreed, saying members can give their point of view in debate, but argues Gruenhagen abused the platform.
The gay marriage bill is slated for House and Senate committee hearings on Tuesday.