Controversial prayer focuses on candidate

HOUSTON While praying for victory, a man at the Roy Morales event said the city would be judged harshly by God if Annise Parker -- a lesbian -- wins. Parker will face Gene Locke in the runoff.

Today, we spoke with the man who led the group of Morales supporters in prayer last night. He made no apologies for his comments.

It was a short prayer last night that went largely unnoticed until we listened closely. What was said could be considered by some to be hateful, hurtful and even derogatory.

"God, I pray right now that you would hold off that judgment," said Eric Story."Lord. you would help us and allow us, Lord, to fight to bring back those values to this city that ought to be here."

At the Roy Morales event Tuesday night was said a prayer which left some questioning the time and place of its delivery.

Story prayed, "Lord, we cannot stand idly by and see the lifestyle, that is assuming she is going to take office, but you're not finished yet."

We asked Story today, "Do you have any reservations about what you said?"

"Not at all," Story responded. "I don't, because when a city or a state or a nation accepts the homosexual lifestyle, history tells us that destruction follows, that judgment follows."

Story was referring to mayoral candidate Annise Parker, who's never made a secret of her lifestyle. It was never an issue in this campaign.

"It's not the individual I have a problem with," Story insisted. "It's a lifestyle that is not, that is not... That is anti-Bible. It's... The word of God speaks out strongly against the lifestyle."

It's not the first time sexual orientation has been used as a weapon in Houston politics. In 1985, then-mayoral candidate Louie Welch made an off-camera comment about solving the AIDS crisis.

Welch said, "One of them was to shoot the queers."

For his part, Roy Morales says no one ever gave permission for this prayer. He refused to go on camera today to talk about what was said. In repeated telephone conversations, though, he neither apologized, nor said the statement was out of line.

Morales did say, "I didn't even know he was going to give a prayer. It kind of caught me off guard."

Parker did not wish to see what was said, though we offered to show her.

She said, "I have never heard anything negative or derogatory from Mr. Morales, Mr. Brown or Mr. Locke, for that matter, and I anticipate that this will be a campaign focused on the issues."

Story makes no apologies. He's a former minister who says he spent decades helping the homeless and the less fortunate. He's running for Congress in 2010 as a conservative who stands for traditional marriage and family values.

Story said, "When I am praying for our nation, and I'm praying for our city, which is what I was asked to do, I am going to pray what needs to be prayed."

Story claims he was speaking only for himself and not on behalf of Morales. It's worth noting that he's run for Congress twice before and both times lost both times to Gene Green.

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