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Some question speaker selection for Mayors Prayer Breakfast

Posted: April 24, 2013 7:08 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2013 7:08 p.m.

Some residents are questioning the keynote speaker choice for next week’s Santa Clarita Valley Mayors Prayer Breakfast, citing comments he made in support of California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state.

This year’s speaker, Brad Dacus, said in 2008 that the apathy of the church in Germany contributed to the rise of the Nazi Party and warned the American church could not take the same attitude regarding gay marriage.

Dacus said Wednesday he thinks those comments have since been taken out of context.

“I used that analogy to say how the church should not hide or be silent about things they believe in,” Dacus said.
But, he said, he could have chosen his words better.

“I would be happy to apologize to anyone face-to-face who interpreted anything different to what I said and intended to communicate,” Dacus said.

A woman who spoke at Tuesday’s Santa Clarita City Council meeting called on Mayor Bob Kellar to refuse to attend the event due to the choice of speaker.

Kellar said Wednesday he has no plans to skip the event.

Concerns over the keynote speaker are not atypical for the event, according to Joe Messina, president of the Dunamis Group, a local Christian business organization that organizes the event.

Every year the event has a keynote speaker who talks about how prayer has positively impacted his or her life, Messina said.

Dacus is the president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense organization that specializes in cases that deal with religious freedom.

“He has stuck up for the religious rights, and rights as a whole, of people all across this country of all different faiths,” Messina said.

Though he supports the goal of the event, Kellar said, its name should be changed to more accurately reflect its nature.

“It gives a poor representation of the truth and it should be named differently,” Kellar said, noting the current name gives the impression the mayor is the driving force behind it.

Messina said he thinks people would raise issue with the event regardless of what it is named.

“If we change it to ‘community prayer breakfast,’ do you think all the consternation would go away?” said Messina, who is also president of the William S. Hart Union High School District board.

The Mayors Prayer Breakfast will be held May 2 from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in the Hyatt Regency Valencia. For more information, visit
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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